(Essay)

Simple Joys

by

Janelle Darnay

I still remember that warm summer day when the sun shone in brilliant rays. The gentle breeze blowing made the sheets hanging on the clothesline dance happily. My two daughters ran barefoot in the backyard and chased our puppy who enjoyed the frolic as much as they did. They dashed about the swaying sheets, the fabric caressing their small hands and faces.

I remember the girls swinging on their swing set, and their giggles. At lunchtime, we would feast on tuna salad sandwiches and ice-cold lemonade as we sat at our backyard table. This was not a gourmet meal at a four-star restaurant, but it was fine dining to us. My girls' childlike chatter was music to my ears, their smiling faces, sheer pleasure to my soul.

We had very little money but that was not an important factor because we had each other. Our belongings were limited. But then belongings are only as good as their meaning. And material wealth did not have much value to us. It did not matter what wealth resided on the other side of the fence because our lawn was vivid and lush and ever gratifying to our eyes.

A magical aura surrounds those memories. Psalm 131:1-2 reads, "My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul…” And on those exquisite days, I can say with certainty that my soul stood still and cherished what we shared together. We laughed and loved and existed in careless abandon.

My children are now grown and have left the nest. Our lives have evolved along with the rest of the world and its advancements. Yet we still value those unembellished moments, and try to recreate them as much as possible. How could we not, when they glimmer so brightly?

My hope is that you also experience the glory of simplicity. Perhaps you already have, or still do. It may be a new moment for you. Regardless of which scenario, one divine aspect will echo the loudest — the simple joys of being in the arms of effortless delight.

Copyright by Janelle Darnay

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