The other day I had to kill a paper wasp nest that had taken up residence on the ceiling of my back porch. While I don’t sit out there often, I wasn’t excited about a colony of wasps taking up residence. I value hospitality at this home, but only to people, not to insects. So I set out to destroy it (which I just said much more dramatically than necessary). I sprayed them the morning prior and then gave it the recommended 24 hours to kill off the colony before I knocked it down.
Then as I was plugging in the hose to rinse everything down, I discovered a bush I’ve never noticed before.
I spotted a few flower buds on it too!
Hydrangeas are one of my favorites. I even tried to plant them in a pot last May to give my back porch a little color.
But out back they weren’t happy. One afternoon in the sun and they needed moved out front.
It was too late though. The flowers had faded and they were well on their way out. That planter has had a rough time of it in the past year too. Some mums were there, but they died. Then I planted some flowers which died. Then it lived for a long time with just some sad dirt until I purchased three different types of mint to plant a few weeks back. Mint seems to just take over the space that it finds, so I’m hoping that happens and I have a minty front door plant!
But back to this week’s discovery. Each time I think about it I get so happy. I even told a new friend about it with an enthusiasm that would parallel winning the lottery. Fresh cut flowers make me really happy – and thinking about how I might have a bush where I can have fresh cut flowers on the regular makes me really happy! That I can have fresh flowers on my dresser all the time, oh how wonderful!
Why does a simple thing make me so happy when the world seems to be crashing in? Because if I don’t choose joy in small things and wait for only big things, I might not get to experience this emotion very often, or at all. It’s the simple things that make a life, not the big things. When the world is crashing in and we’re fighting a deadly virus, racial injustice, murder hornets, paper wasps, a sand storm, a crazy election, sadness, death, grief, and anger, the little things have to bring joy to give us a fighting chance at surviving.
There are times when I can’t see the joy in the midst of the sorrow. I had a few hours this morning where I was just overwhelmed. It started with a medical appointment (nothing’s seriously wrong), a pharmacy pick-up, and being locked out by my roommate. It was all too much when I was already sitting on the edge of an emotional breakdown.
I called a friend to talk through my feelings where she reminded me I am an emotional being who is allowed to fell, even encouraged to feel. I replied, “I don’t mind feeling big emotions, I just don’t like when they come out of my eyes.” (especially in the middle of a work day) Then I looked up at my dresser where I placed the few buds my new hydrangea bush gave me yesterday morning and remembered that I choose joy in the simple things.
Whenever I get excited about small things, people look at me strangely. I once was excited about our new copier at work, which wasn’t a big deal or even all that exciting – but it’s the little things that weigh us down, so if we don’t get excited for little things, what do we really have?