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  • Courtney Cheah

TAKE IT SLOW - embracing the simple pleasures

The aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee. A sudden burst of birdsong in a tree overhead. The first blossoms on the bare winter branches signalling the start of spring.


It’s the small pleasures that make life truly sweet. No matter what’s going on around us, whatever outer circumstances within or beyond our control, we can always find moments of peace and enjoyment in the little things.


The pandemic has given us something we would not have found in ordinary life: it has broken apart the structures of our lives and created space. Space which, prior to last year, would have been filled without effort with things to do and people to see. Now, perhaps, the invitation is to let the pace be slow. To allow ourselves to live life more deeply by taking the time to fully experience moments of sweetness as we move through our day.


If we hurry through our day, every day, we end up finding we’ve hurried through our lives. Instead, why not slow down and appreciate the simple pleasures?


Here are a few of mine:


A Hot Beverage

I always loved tea but I have come to a new level of appreciation since moving to Britain. It is true bliss to sit down with a cup of hot, strong tea – and especially so with a friend who appreciates it as keenly. And who can forget the total joy of a perfectly made coffee first thing in the morning?


Walking

Over the last couple of years I have fallen in love with walking, and since moving to London I have enjoyed walking this city immensely. Walking along the river path is my favourite thing to do; but I also absolutely love exploring the magnificent royal parks. Being in nature is so calming; it recalibrates me and brings me back to myself.


Sunshine

While not always available, when that warm sun shines on my face I can’t help but close my eyes and bask in the rays. Perhaps I appreciate it all the more since moving to such a gloomy place!


Wildlife

The songbirds in Britain are one of my favourite things about living here. There are so many varieties of tiny little birds that flit about the branches, and there is nothing so cheering as hearing them sing out sweetly against a grey winter sky. The parks have ponds and lakes that are filled with swans, geese and ducks. Cormorants dive in the Thames and dry their wings sitting on the moored boats. And not many days go by that I don’t see at least one squirrel. Of all nature’s cute and fluffy creatures, they are among the cutest and fluffiest.


Art

This isn’t such a small pleasure for me! This city is packed to the brim with fantastic art galleries and museums and it’s one of my very favourite things to explore them. There are few things I like better than a day spent exploring an art gallery, either with company or with my headphones in listening to music as I sink into the experience.


What are your simple pleasures?


What are the things that make your day sweet?


I’d love to hear from you.