I find myself now and again, in the middle of moments of deep joy and intense pleasure--both slightly different things, but they go together well. When I notice one, I always consciously and simply enjoy it fully and completely.
I had several of these moments while in England. Some may seem ordinary things to excite joy, but that to me is the best thing about them.
1) Engaging others in the surprising of Rob, multiplied the excitement factor. I really did imagine a host of people behind my shoulder shouting "surprise!" with me. :)
2) Enlisting the support of my 26 year old nephew, John, in carrying out the plan. He picked me up at the airport and together we came up with the best way of making it happen. Sharing this with him was very special.
3) Cooking a home made macaroni cheese, for Rob, twice. There is something so intensely satisfying and gratifying about chopping and measuring, stirring and grating, until it all comes together and something made of basic ingredients turns into something comforting and more delicious than anything you could buy ready made.
4) Enjoying a meal that I didn't cook. On Fridays Rob's 19 year old son Tim, comes to have dinner with him. When he was younger he would come and sleep over that night on a mattress on the floor but now he comes for dinner before going out with his friends. Rob always cooks his favourite meal: grilled gammon bacon, mashed potatoes, boiled carrots and gravy. How delicious it was to smell the bacon grilling! When Rob brought in my dinner on a tray, I ate it slowly, enjoying every bite.
5) Hosting visits of friends with Rob; creating a space of hospitality. I love doing that naturally, but it was a pleasure to do that for and with him.
6) Getting together in a coffee shop with Paul's mum and other family who also happened to be in England for a visit at a time that overlapped with my visit, and capturing in photographs some of the essence of who she is as she engaged in conversation with old friends who gathered to see her. She is a very special person, much beloved of many, including me.
7) Finishing a book I was reading and when looking for one to replace it, finding a new and beautiful hard cover edition of one of my favourite classic books, Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl. This edition contains additional notes. It is a book that can be read over and over, always yielding something of worth to the reader. Frankl's powerful message is that man always has choices to make, even in the most desperate situations. Having long hours to just read was a great luxury and pleasure, and made all the better by having such a treasure to read again.
I am grateful for the gifts upon gifts and joys upon joys: Relationship, receiving, recording and reading--abundant blessings indeed.