Friday night I was down with a cold, so I sat in my bed and watched TED talks on my laptop. The last one I watched was David Holt giving a performance on mostly Southern Appalachian music. What made this performance stand out was Holt’s gift to combine the music with story, and one story he told in particular has been feathering the edges of my thoughts these past few days.
David Holt tells how he was subsumed with "unbelievable grief" when his daughter died in a car accident fifteen years ago. It was so terrible that he had to make lists of reasons to stay alive. At the top of his list were his wife and his son, and his parents, but then, after that, came the simplest of things: "seeing the daffodils bloom in Spring, the smell of new-mown hay, catching a wave and body surfing, the touch of a baby’s hand, the sound of Doc Watson playing the guitar…" He didn’t care about his radio show, awards, or money. Happiness, he found, was in these everyday moments of beauty.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about, and practicing, these past couple of days. I’m finding myself shedding stress, and breathing in the beauty of being alive.