True delight is in the finding out rather than the knowing.

Bushwalks are one of our favourite activities on the weekend.

We pack bags full of the essentials – water, snacks and suncream, dinosaurs, hand-drawn maps and chocolate – and head out to the national park.

What I love most about these excursions – even more than the exercise and the appreciation of nature we’re getting – is the tiny moments of delight they afford us.

We notice the bugs skimming across the lagoon surface, the pink algae and the birdsong. We spot flowers and rock formations and animal tracks. Things that are always there but rarely seen simply because we’re moving too fast.

Finding delight

When we go on a bushwalk we try to make it leisurely. We stop (a lot). And while sometimes I miss the feeling of getting my blood up and hiking fast up the inclines, it seems that we’ve become pioneers of the Slow (Walking) Movement.

And really? It’s a delightful way to view the world. You don’t need to be bushwalking or exploring or doing anything out of the ordinary at all, because delightful moments surround us everywhere, if we’re willing to slow down for a moment and look for them.

  • a water droplet on the bus window
  • street art
  • a flower growing through a crack in the footpath
  • the swoop of a bird high in the sky
  • clouds
  • a young couple holding hands
  • a reflection of sunset in an office building’s windows
  • a brief sniff of the ocean air
  • a snowflake
  • a cat curled up in your lap
  • the first leaves of a seedling pushing through the soil
  • the smell of rain on the dirt
  • a sleeping child’s breath
  • fingerprints
  • a mushroom growing out of leaf litter

Some people think of delight in the same way they think of love. If you go actively looking for it, it will elude you. I disagree wholeheartedly.

If you are open to beauty, if you are open to the possibility of delight, if you go searching for it, you will discover that it actually surrounds us at every moment. It may not look like you’d expected. It may not feel the way you imagined. It may not be the cookie cutter version of delight or joy or beauty. But it will be there. Just allow yourself to be included and you will find it.

7 Responses to Delight

  1. I have only recently found your blog and I want to tell you how much I enjoy it. I’ve been on this same journey for some time now, but you have an elegance of phrase that is truly wonderful in describing things and getting down to the bare bones of the matter. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your slow down and see insights. My experience is those “seeing” moments happen. I’ll be in the midst of some errand and suddenly notice something tiny and beautiful. It’s like the clouds parted and the sun came through. I like when that happens because of the contrast.

  3. We sometimes take hikes in the woods with the kids. One of the thinks my daughter and her friends like to do on these hikes is to make a list of the things they might see during the hike. As we walk the check off the things on their list when they see them. It helps them to pay more attention as we are out in the woods and they notice things that might not have noticed otherwise.

  4. One of the best ways for a “slow” walk is to accompany a young child. She will stop for every little thing, and be delighted with each discovery. On walks with my granddaughter when she was young we petted caterpillars, carried them for a bit, collected seed pods, and named flower varieties. At almost 8 years old, she has such an appreciation for flowers and plants, nurtured during those slow walks when she was small. – Fawn

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