August is upon us, and with it, slightly shorter days (at least in my part of the world), more occasions for the evening air to contain that smallest hint of cool air, and back-to-school sales. Expectation of the increased busyness that is to come in a month’s time is palpable.
Although I enjoy the excited anticipation that this August season brings each year, it also brings about a certain amount of anxiety. Everybody in the family has to get used to a new routine all over again (is it *ever* easy to deal with change?), we will have less time for relaxation in the evenings due to school-related and other extracurricular activities, and all this during a busier season in which we need that time to recharge more than ever.
Prayer? It seems more difficult than ever to work it into the routine, does it not? Often, it takes until Advent for me to realize that I am not devoting as much time to my spiritual life as I should. As I was dwelling on this unfortunate phenomenon recently, it occurred to me that amidst the busy running around that seems to dominate the autumn of many families, God is always there. He’s there in the big things; we know this, yes? For example, in our children, in our spouse, in our colleagues and friends. He is also there, though, in the smallest of reminders.
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It may sound silly, but I find it quite soothing to think of God when some minor little pleasure makes its way into a particularly busy day. For some, it may be glimpsing a beautiful work of art hanging on the wall of their workplace, or hearing a song that they love. For another, it could be observing some lovely aspect of nature when walking from their car into their office, such as a bird or a colorful flower. For me, one of these small pleasures is scent.
Scent? I imagine that sounds odd. Scent, though, is very evocative for me, in the way music is for others. I also love music, so sometimes as I work I will have the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles playing in the background. Every single day, though, when I walk into my office, the first thing I do is turn on my small electric scent cube warmer. I switch out the scent once or twice per week, and as my morning begins the cube gradually melts and gives off fragrance. Some days I’m in the mood for a delicious bakery scent like Dulce de Leche, or Crumb Top. Other days I want a fresh scent like By the Sea or French Lavender. In the summer, I crave citrus scents. As I work and the scent comes alive, it makes me smile, every single time. And in that simple delight, I think of how grateful I am to God for this small luxury. I also think of my friends who also enjoy scent as much as I do, and how much fun I have talking to them about upcoming fragrance releases for the new season, or the cute new warmer I have my eye on. Thus, my mind turns to fellowship, and for that I can never possibly express the full amount of my gratitude. We are all together in this, our navigation through the earthly journey. Our friends and family are there. God is always there.
So, when I am having a challenging or otherwise tiring day, I sniff the air and think of my friends and family, and of God. No matter how low that particular day may rank on a Likert scale of fantastic awfulness, I will always have them there with me.
What are the simple pleasures in your day that remind you of God? I would love to hear about them in the comments!
Copyright 2016 Tiffany Walsh. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Tiffany Walsh is a wife and mother, a native western New Yorker, and a college librarian. She is a cradle Catholic who rekindled her childhood faith as a graduate student via her love of books, and is the author of Exploring the Catholic Classics, part of the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women series. She enjoys writing about faith, crafting, dance, fitness and wellness. Visit her blog at Life of a Catholic Librarian.