The Pleasures of Today - Ashley Brie Myers

Today is both ordinary and singular, for it is a Saturday in August in the midst of a pandemic, and I’m alone in Vermont. When I say alone, I don’t mean lonely, and when I say ordinary, I certainly don’t mean unremarkable.


I stay in bed for an untimed stretch of existence, sheets still cool from the fan, cradle a pillow, chase a flutter of thought, send some texts. The carpet on the walk to the kitchen hugs my feet, its shade of brown a soft wheat. I scoop ground coffee for brewing, percolation a morning anthem, then draw the thick curtains. Sun and mountain air make their gentle entrance. The open window sounds the crickets or some affable midday chorus of insects. Bugs chirp the same as birds. A little girl in an old-fashioned white dress with billowing sleeves kicks a soccer ball, runs past, red hair a kite over the flattened grass. Children make their own magic, the wisest of us all. It must have rained last night, earth’s damp perfume rising. There is such delight in having discovered the word: petrichor. I decide to bake a loaf of gingerbread for brunch. Fragrant cloves and cinnamon greet my nose, whisked for the batter, remnants dusting the counter—I’m sure the carpet enjoys the blast of autumn, too. While the oven does its job, I stretch out on a yoga mat, flow, slow. Awareness of breath calms and enlivens, then the timer chimes. The slice is spiced, just enough, and moist (I am not one of those who is irked by that adjective). The coffee is strong. I read an excerpt on art’s importance from a friend as I nibble and sip, then scribble in the margins of Toni Morrison. I scrub the dishes, awash in fresh citrus before showering. The spray is warm and mesmerizing. If I close my eyes, I could be nine at a water park, but I’d rather be here.


So while you’re leaning as far into your future as you can, like it will sneak off if you don’t keep eyes on it, be sure to notice the simple pleasures, the everyday moments you don’t need to crane your neck to see or anticipate with an impatient countdown that never really ends, just begins again once the next big excitement is over.

Ashley Brie Myers is the author of Seasons of Rose (2019) and Yellow&Blue (2020). She received a BA in English with a Fiction Writing concentration from Connecticut College. Her free time mainly consists of writing, staring at the sky, reading, and watching far too much television. She resides in Massachusetts with her family and two fluffy Great Pyrenees.

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