“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Matthew 13: 16 – 17
In the musical the “Sound of Music” there is a song called “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.” I love this song that begins with the lyrics: “Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Brown paper packages tied up with strings….” These lyrics are a reminder that there is good even when it feels like everything is bad. This year has been a hard year for a variety of reasons. The harshness comes at all of us from a global, national, and personal aspect. I don’t know about you but I have days that are news free days. I am overwhelmed to distraction at times and this give me a break from the seemingly constant barrage of bad news and more bad news. So I found myself thinking about favorite things and of course that made me sing the song “My Favorite Things” and that led me to wanting to write down my own favorite things. Those things that bring me joy and help me to see the blessings God gives me each day if only I would have “eyes to see.” So today, I am going to list a few of my favorite things. I hope it inspires you to write your own list during this season of trauma and unrest.
I love to hear a Bobwhite singing and the coo of the mourning dove in the early morning hours. I love to hear the long mournful song of a train whistle as it rumbles down the rails and into the night. I love to hear the crashing of the ocean waves on the shore as seagulls circle above crying out their greedy song of mine, mine, mine. I love to hear cows lowing in the fields and the sound of a hawk calling to its mate. I love to hear the belly laugh of children and the cooing of a baby. I love to hear my husband and my children tell me they love me. I love to hear the wind as it gently rustles through the trees on a hot summer day. I love to hear the wind rage in the midst of a hurricane as it shrieks around the house. I love the crack of thunder and the soft purr of a kitten contentedly sitting on my lap. I love the hoot of an owl and the whinny of horses. I love the crashing sound water makes when it falls over a cliff or as it ripples over rock in a river bed. I love to hear the bluesy sound of a saxophone or trombone and the guitar riffs of classic rock and roll. I love the low rumble of a 1960’s muscle car and the sputtering of an old case tractor. I love to hear a preacher passionately talk about scripture.
I love to see rainbows in the sky after a rain with the sun shining down making everything sparkle. I love to see the deep, dark thunderhead moving across the sky with their promise of rain. I love to see old couples walking hand in hand. I love to see smiles. I love to see people laughing and enjoying one another’s company. I love to see people holding one another in support as they grieve a loss. I love to see old movies. I love to see the dust clouds that form behind a tractor as a farmer plows their fields. I love to see ripe apples hanging from a tree begging to be picked. I love to see baby lambs frolic in the fields. I love to see flowers in all their magnificent diversity and in every color imaginable filling the air with their glorious scent. I love to watch bees fly. I love to watch horses run freely in their pastures. I love to see the shadows of trees as I walk in their cool shade. I love to see people pray.
I love the scent of fresh mown hay. I love the scent of a newborn baby. I love the heady perfume of heritage roses. I love the scent of fresh baked bread. I love the earthy smell of a barn full of cows. I love the smell of fresh picked fruits and vegetables. I love the smell of sheets that have dried in the sun. I love the smell of cotton candy and caramel corn. I love the smell of lavender. I love the smell of rain that cleans the air and refreshes the ground. I love the smell of lasagna cooking in the oven. I love the smell of my mom and dad’s home. I love the smell of a woods. I love the smell of sparklers. I love the smell of barbeque. I love the smell of a campfire. I love the scent of Plumeria. I love the smell of ancient churches and cathedrals.
I love the taste of a tomato freshly picked from a garden. I love the taste of fresh blackberries. I love the sweet tart taste of a key lime pie. I love the taste of fresh picked peaches or apples. I love the crunchiness of fresh broccoli and the bitter sweet taste of Brussel sprouts. I love the taste of cool water on a hot day. I love the taste of hot chocolate on a cold wintery day. I love the taste of communion.
These are just a few of my favorite things. They have become favorites because I noticed them as I went about my day to day activities and I have done so throughout my life. I try, I don’t always succeed, but I do try to have ears that hear and eyes that see all that is around me. By the way…this list is of course not comprehensive! So I hope, in this hard season, you take time to write down a few of your favorite things. These are blessings. When you hear, or see, or smell, or even taste any of what are your favorite things, they take us all back to good memories. They remind us that the world is filled with more beauty than it is filled with ugliness. In fact, the reason Julie Andrews character sings the song, “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things,” is to allay the fears of the children who were scared of the thunderstorm raging around them. Remembering the good in the midst of the difficult or bad, can help us endure. At least it helps me all we need are eyes to see and ears to hear the world around us. And if you feel like it, I hope you will share some of your “favorite things” with me. I would like to hear what they are.