I’m on my second coffee. I am enjoying it with local low-temperature pasteurized non-homogenized half-n-half, and half a teaspoon of date sugar. The beans are a freshly roasted medium-roast Brazilian, ground immediately before making use of them. The music in the background is rather louder than many people prefer their ‘background’ music to be. It is later in the morning than I generally write; I slept in this morning, and took my time with waking up. I enjoyed my first coffee before meditation, letting the cup warm my hands, breathing the scent of it deeply, and simply being right here. It’s that sort of morning, on a weekend filled with moments.

Yesterday, after planting the one full-size rose that will be in my patio garden, I sat quietly letting the morning unfold around me, and feeling the chill morning air tickle my bare toes. The air, then, was soft and still. I enjoyed the distant, uninvolved companionship of the neighborhood squirrels, robins and crows, enjoying their morning repast. They are aware of me, but unconcerned.

One of my neighbors enjoying breakfast al fresco.

One of my neighbors enjoying breakfast al fresco, on another morning.

Later, in the evening, I again sat on the patio, wrapped in the strange golden light of evening, distant wildfires coloring the evening light, and changing the taste and scent of the air. The leaves rustled gently in the breeze that brought the smoke. I listened to the rustling for some longish time. A pair of ducks lands in the swimming pool just across the lawn. I watch them awhile. The female hops out of the pool, and slowly makes her way my direction. I sit quietly, surprised to see her being so direct about it. She steps up on my patio, and up to my feet. She looks at me. I look back. She turns and nibbles some bugs off a potted plant at the edge of the patio, looking at me over her shoulder as if wondering if I mind sharing. She sat a moment, observing me, then headed back to the pool. I sat awhile longer as the golden glow of evening became twilight, and the rustling of leaves became a chorus of peeping tree frogs in the distance.

The sky filled with the haze of distant wildfires.

The sky filled with the haze of distant wildfires.

This morning, after my first coffee, sometime before my second, I stood in the patio doorway, closed this morning because the haze of smoke from distant fires continues to present a modest health concern. I watch the morning light brighten to day, and notice a squirrel on  my patio, checking each pot for hidden goodies in the soil. She looks at me over the rim of a blue and white china pot with a miniature rose in it, and for a moment we hold each other’s gaze as she thinks over whether to stay or go, having noticed my presence. I stand very still – stillness is where my head was, anyway – and she gets back to the business of checking each pot, rummaging through the dirt, moss, leaves, and bits of things that have fallen. Now I know why some of my plants are regularly uprooted in some way; I had had my suspicions, but now there is no doubt. As I continue to watch, she reaches up and grabs a young, newly opened rose, and appears to rifle through the petals, turning it this way and that, and finally nibbling at…something. I watch intently. She pauses, and standing tall looking at me, I see that she has a small green worm or caterpillar in her tiny adept hands. She quickly munches it, then bounds away.

Each of these moments lingers with me, and I allow myself the joy of savoring them, letting them become a more permanent part of my recollection, and sitting contentedly with the feelings; the more time I spend immersed in positive emotional experiences, the less negative bias exists in my thinking, and my implicit assumptions.

An excellent source of information on this and other good practices to improve one's experience.

One source of information about the practice of savoring positive experiences.

There’s not a lot more I know how to say about this. There’s science to support the practice of making a point to savor positive experiences, and linger in those moments, as a method of reducing negative bias…but…even if it was 100% bunk pseudo-science, when I simply consider the feel of it, as a practice, and how it enriches my quality of life to actually make a point to enjoy living, I find that I no longer need to ‘prove it’ to myself – and certainly, there is no requirement to ‘prove it’ to you. You can give it a try as a practice, or don’t, or already are…and the decision you make to continue, or disregard, will be your own. I’m okay with all that; results vary, and you are having your own experience. I’m just saying, as choices go, I do enjoy making a point to really feel the lovely moments that happen so often.

Today is a good day to enjoy each moment. Each moment we enjoy changes the world.