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“I am thankful for the moments of bliss that bless my life. I stop often to enjoy several seconds of bliss.” (a mediation from The Woman’s Book of Soul by Sue Patton Thoele)
In The Woman’s Book of Soul, Sue Patton Thoele wrote, “Although we may have extended periods of profound joy, most of our truly blissful moments are fleeting.” And she encourages gathering together those moments and threading them on a memory strand for recalling with gratitude. Like a charm bracelet or charm necklace of bliss.
Moments of bliss come in unexpected ways. They are those moments that make our souls happy, might even make us smile or laugh out loud, catch us by surprise, or move us to happy tears…and maybe put us a little closer to the Divine.
For the last couple of years, I’ve taken to having my morning coffee in the backyard, watching the sun come up. This morning, I was treated to brilliant blue sky, a steady breeze to push around the humidity and the glossy green leaves of the trees, and the aerial acrobatics of the neighborhood goldfinches. Bright yellow darts swooping and chirping on their personal roller coasters of joy against a field of blue.
Last week, I stood in the garden bed, trimming spent blue blossoms off my butterfly bush, with red petunias and pink and gold zinnias at my feet. Suddenly, I had company. A ruby-throated hummingbird, who shifted from flower to flower at eye level, then dove to investigate the petunias and liatris. It hovered right between my feet for almost a minute before zipping off to park itself on a tree branch. It looked around, and I could almost see the thought bubble over its head. “Oh, look! Bee balm!” And it shot across the yard to the red firecracker-like blossoms.
Bliss is sitting in the yard at night with my feet up, fireflies blinking in garden, the red gleam of Antares in the heart of Scorpio gleaming overhead. Bliss is dirt under my nails and a sore back from four hours pulling weeds and harvesting produce in the garden surrounded by the sound of wind in the pines. Bliss is a photo of the coastline of Skye, or the natural architecture of Canyon du Chelly. Bliss is my 8-year-old falling asleep with her head in my lap because she “loves her mama.” Bliss is sleeping till 10am, having nowhere to be, and feeling that your body is grateful for the extra downtime. Bliss is drag racing a pheasant, running alongside US 23. Bliss is witnessing two eagles soaring and feeling like they are there just for you. Bliss is a smile that reaches someone’s eyes when they look at you. Bliss is an unexpected note that reassures you that you ARE important.
What are your blissful moments? List them. Think about them. Close your eyes and assign them a symbol – a silver key, a small stone, a feather, a bright yellow bead – and string them all together on a silver thread of memory. When you want to visit those blissful moments, pull your charms from your jewelry box of memory and count your blessings.