“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary,” once wrote Paulo Coelho de Souza, the Brazilian lyricist and novelist.
For the past three days we’ve been enjoying our grand kids, Miles and Katherine, and showing them and their parents around the Smoky Mountains. It has been a pure delight to witness their excitement.
The evening they arrived it was raining, but Miles wanted to go down to the creek he saw at the bottom of the mountain. We explained it was too late. It was raining. Plus the creek ran through the golf course and they probably didn’t want us on it.
The next morning that’s all we heard, “I want to go to the creek.” So, when we left I stopped and asked the nice young lady working in the pro shop if any golfers were out yet. She said, “No, but someone had a T-time soon.” However, we were welcome to explore the creek on the back 9 since it would be a while before any future golfers got that far. Miles and Katherine had a ball. Exploring rocks. Skipping rocks. And looking for hidden treasures.
We finally left and headed to our destination for the day, Cades Cove. Before entering the Cove, we went to the picnic area next to a creek. The kids hardly ate. They wanted to play in the creek. Literally. This stop required a change of clothes.
Then after we arrived in the Cove, we saw three bears in a field. Katherine wanted to go pet them. After exploring some of the 19th-century homes and buildings, we arrived at the old mill area where a creek running through it. Both were excited to explore this new creek.
After a long day, and beginning our drive back to Deer Ridge, Miles opined, “There must be lots of creeks in the mountains.”
So, yesterday, knowing what they loved to do, we took them the Chimneys Picnic Area. It’s a picturesque, rocky creek with boulders big enough to climb on that was the ultimate source of fun both for the kids and their Daddy, Kenny. Our pleasure came from watching these jubilant grandchildren and a doting Dad having a good time and enjoying nature.
These experiences remind me that so many of life’s pleasures come from simple things. In fact, maybe this time of “sheltering in place” with attractions closed, concerts canceled, and sports postponed has returned us to enjoying simpler times. And just being together.
Think of some of the simple pleasures of life that bring you joy on a regular basis.
A hot cup of coffee early in the morning.
Driving with your windows down.
Watching a beautiful sunrise over the mountains.
Or seeing a stunning, colorful sunset over the ocean.
A full moon on a clear night.
A hot, relaxing shower after a long day.
Chocolate. Any kind of chocolate.
A home-cooked meal around the table with your family.
A picnic in the park.
A walk with your lover on a wooded trail.
Climbing into bed at night with freshly laundered sheets.
Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.
An unexpected compliment.
A surprise visit from a friend or family member.
Laughing at a truly funny story.
Children giggling and playing without a care in the world.
Flowers brightly blooming on a Spring day.
A drive through the country on a sunny, Fall day enjoying the colors of the leaves.
Reading a good book.
Sitting by the fireplace on a cool morning.
What are some of life’s simple pleasures you enjoy most? The list is endless.
Through all of this, we’re well advised to remember that ultimately God is the “Giver of good gifts” (Jas. 1:18). God’s goodness has given us life. Breath. And all things. In Him, we live. Move. And have our being. (Ax. 17:24-28).
In this serene setting, I’m reminded that God created the creeks. The rivers. The mountains. The sun. The moon. The stars. The critters and the creatures. The world and all that’s in it. Why? For man’s pleasure. And God’s glory (Ps 8; 19; 139; 95:1-7; 148).
God has created us with emotions that feel joy. See the beauty of nature. Taste delicious food. Smell wonder aromas. And experience loving relationships of family, friends, and brethren.
As our grandchildren often offer this simple prayer: “Thank you, God. For everything. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman