As usually happens in such cases, the balance of concern finally outweighed other activities, and this week I headed out into a brilliant 60-degree February afternoon to get the chore done. Taking Journey first, who stands like a statue while I trim and rasp, I began the long-deferred job. Birds filled the air with song, the sun warmed my back, and the quiet calm with which she handed me each foot in turn soon elevated the experience into the realm of pleasure. I had been missing out on this?! Occupied with the kitchen remodel and subsequent housecleaning coupled with the tyranny of life in general, I'd lost touch with how much I love being out there with these big animals.
C.S. Lewis talks about this phenomenon in his book An Experiment in Criticism.Though he is referring specifically to why and how people read, I find that the principle applies to many other aspects of life. We begin something for the pleasure it gives us, and we love it. But somehow along the way, a sense of duty creeps in. We forget the joy we once felt and know only the obligation we now labor under.
So I'm pondering that this morning, (which promises to be another gorgeous day), and thinking that I will turn down the voice of duty and focus on the joys set before me--God, people, writing, horses, house, and the great outdoors. In short, the job I have given myself today is to look beyond duty and re-discover pleasure.