I Spy…

The post title is inspired by the very simple game we used to play with the children, “I spy, with my little eye…”

Simple pleasures have been important to us this summer.

I’ve shared two or three posts about the events surrounding the death of my stepson, and although it’s very true that emotions have run deep, we recognized weeks ago that it was going to be important to move forward, nurturing our well-being.

One day at a time, we’ve fine-tuned our focus, appreciating Mother Teresa’s quote, “Be happy in the moment; that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”

Generally speaking we aren’t “brooders.” We acknowledge sadness and there are some days we may be a bit more sensitive, but Jay and I are both believers in taking responsibility for our emotional health. And we know what works for us.

We live relatively close to miles and miles of coastline, but we shifted our emphasis this summer from the Orange County beaches that are often overrun with high-energy activity, and instead focused on a familiar and pleasant stretch of Los Angeles County beach.

These photos were taken very early in the day before crowds assembled, but walking in Manhattan Beach is particularly enjoyable, with pedestrian walkways separate from the bike paths.


There are wonderful little places to sit and take in the sights or stop and have a bite to eat.

While we stood on the pier watching dolphins play with the surfers, we could also see the jets taking off from LAX, which is not even five miles from where we were standing.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many people bustling through the crazy-busy International Airport have no idea there is all this beauty right over their shoulder.

I’d be at the beach every day if possible, BUT, there are delights at home as well.

I’ve been entertained this month with the first flowering of one of our Ponytail palms (Beaucarnea recurvata). This plant isn’t really a palm, but its swollen base resembles a palm and the long, thin leaves curve outward, then hang down like ponytails.

We have three of these mature plants, but only one produced this interesting spike, which later bloomed and attracted colorful insects!

Can you see all the little black spots? Those are beetles and bees. At times it was vibrating with insect life.

We’ve had these “palms” for close to thirty years, yet this was the first time we’d experienced the bloom. It was entertaining watching the insects flock to the tiny flowers.

I’m so glad I was at home this summer to observe! I might have missed it.

In deciding to take care of ourselves, we’ve been operating a little slower, which translates into being more intentional and aware of our surroundings–noticing the small delights.

Being in a hurry doesn’t slow down time, but conversely, slowing down feels like there is more time to enjoy breathing lighter. I’d like to continue to cultivate that peace going forward.

Can you hear me exhale?