Pure Enjoyment

Snowshoeing up a hill on a beautiful sunny day, it was so much fun to notice a dog’s pure enjoyment as she played in the snow.  Her energy seemed boundless, though her human said she would later pay the price.  She’d be stiff and sore, unable to jump up onto the bed, one of her favorite resting places. Clearly she was not moderating her activity to try to avoid that outcome.

As I trudged up the hill in the heavy wet snow I kept reflecting back on the dog’s enjoyment.   I too was enjoying being out under that gorgeous sky, walking on snow, but I can’t say my enjoyment was pure.  It was tinged with thoughts of the future—I knew I too would be stiff and sore later on—and with thoughts of the past—if only I had exercised more in the past so I could easily go up the hill. Some of those future thoughts were lighter, too—I kept going in part to see if I’d get to another view point. Some of the thoughts of the past were wise—feeling gratitude for those who had broken trail before me.

           The doggie’s owner commented that he wished he had a jar of that “pure enjoyment” to open when he needed it.  I realized mindfulness was that jar for me:  the ability to notice all the changing thoughts, physical sensations and emotions that came and went without landing on any one thing as “how it is.”  And the choosing, again and again, to notice enjoyment.

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4 Responses to Pure Enjoyment

  1. Constance Alexander says:

    Wonderful Kathy.
    Thank you.

  2. Mary Helen Fein says:

    I always think of you as that “disciplined kind of person who woul be in better shape” and is actually out there walking up that snowy hill! Wish I could walk up it beside you. Let’s plan on it for next life.

    It’s all relative I guess. But you are one of my role models for how to enjoy the outdoors. More of a mental role model than a physical one, oh well…

  3. It IS all relative, and it’s all a story too. I’m noticing how the story changes when I’m comparing myself. In this case, if it’s to my very athletic friends, it’s very different than comparing to the average American my age. Maybe another post is incubating with this exchange!

    And, so happy for all the ways we do “walk” together in this life!

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