After Ross Gay
He is right; if we choose to look,
we just might believe it’s there
in the first chirp of the day and the body awakening to hear it,
in the black wings weaving through champagne leaves,
in the spark of coffee with the essay that ends
with the words, renovating love,
for gold snails on the busy sidewalk,
for the elixir of friendship in the dark shell of winter,
for each small note from the universe
and its cheerful persistence, even today,
with a new tumor on the back of my dog’s leg,
to encourage delight
in her oblivious exuberance, and let that be
what sustains me.
If you haven’t yet read poet Ross Gay’s Book of Delights, you might just want to put it on your reading list. Each short essay is a record of the everyday miracles he observed in his life over the course of a year. He finds wonder and delight in simple things as well as the complex, especially in nature.
The poet Teresa Williams clearly resonates with this way of looking at the world, of finding much to praise – birdsong, our bodies, coffee, the words renovating love, snails, and my personal favourite, the elixir of friendship in the dark shell of winter, lyrical medicine for cold days.
Even with her dog’s new tumor, she is sustained by the cheerful persistence of each small note from the universe. So many ways to experience delight if we are open to notice, perhaps even to practice on occasion an oblivious exuberance to our discontents. We must risk delight says the poet Jack Gilbert, we cannot do without it.
May the small delights the universe continuously offers be yours to discover and let that be what sustains you.