I watched this beautiful YouTube video about finding the joy in small things and it really set me to thinking. I know I’ve talked about this, and thought about it, but it hit me in a new way: The gift of Covid and quarantine is this recapturing the beauty of small joys, the kinds of things that we suddenly become aware of when our lives become smaller and more restricted.
In normal life there is a lot of pressure, especially for the Pluto in Sagittarius generation (born 1995-2008), to live a big life. Live your best life, Oprah admonishes. Have epic experiences like it appears everyone else is doing on Facebook. Go on incredible Instagrammable adventures. Over the past year many of those doors have been closed to us, and we are left with the small things. Our pets or family. A garden. A walk in the woods. A talk with a good friend.
Our life can become smaller for other reasons than Covid, and not always willingly. As we age, our life may begin to shrink. Maybe we can’t do all of the things we used to do. Maybe we no longer feel the pressure to do more, to be more, but perhaps we also feel the great loss of what we once had. I believe that as our lives begin to shrink in old age, we must find the depth and the beauty of the small gifts. As we slow down we begin to notice things we previously took for granted: The song of the birds, the beauty of a spring rain.
I find it interesting that even the Pluto in Sagittarius generation, the social media generation that lived out their lives on Instagram and YouTube, are now talking about burnout and embracing minimalism. The theme of a smaller life is truly taking hold, even (or maybe especially) in the United States where the national identity (Sagittarius ascendant) is all about growth and perpetual expansion.
I’ll leave you today with this lovely quote from John Burroughs:
“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”