for years, i’ve had a desire to be fluent in another language.
for just as many years, i’ve made exactly zero progress on it.
i tried to convince myself to learn japanese.
i tried to convince myself to become more proficient in german.
i tried to convince myself to learn italian.
i tried to convince myself to learn spanish.
i had practical reasons for – and, i thought, some level of interest in – learning all of those languages. still, nothing ever happened.
last week, in a moment of clarity, i realized why i was procrastinating.
the language i wanted to learn was french, and french seemed impractical.
when i spoke the reason out loud, it seemed so silly. why did i need a practical reason to learn french? why couldn’t i learn french simply because i wanted to?
and so i am. learning french, that is.
no convincing or forcing required.
for me, the act of learning french is an absolute pleasure. everything about it makes me happy.
it’s the best way to learn, really. i don’t know how i forgot this.
it brings me joy to imagine that all of the natural treasures i find now are gifts from (angel) atlas. often, they are blue jay feathers – my favorite.
today’s gifts, received while on a trail run:
- tiny mushrooms that were the size & shape of wild pansies but poppy red (with a black splotch) in color.
- a buttercup yellow moth.
- a mushroom that looked like it had been caramelized and then covered in rainbow sprinkles. (i did not take a bite, but oh, how i wanted to.)
- a crooked tree on the aptly named applesauce trail that was full of tiny sweet wild apples. as i tossed my apple cores on the side of the trail, i pretended i was johnny appleseed.
when i cultivate qualities like presence + appreciation + attention + curiosity, i walk through the world in a state of joyful wonder.
nature is my dear dear friend.
she is yours too, you know.
often, if you look closely, you will see her waving & smiling with delight at you.
i remember how the water slipped & slid & tumbled down the black rocks. when it reached the bottom of the falls, it raced along the river banks and careened around the bend as if it were late for a date with its beloved friend the sea.
the light that afternoon was like an indulgent smile bestowed on a dearly beloved child.
what i mean by that is: the light didn’t try to stop the river; the light didn’t admonish the river for hurrying; the light simply watched the river run and loved it more than anything.
“Walk on air against your better judgement.”
~ Seamus Heaney
sometimes, when the wind blows just right, a crack in the world opens.
if you’re paying close attention in that moment, you might catch a glimpse of fairyland.