Dear Still Water Friends,
Simple, Unadulterated Delight
Thursday, August 14, 2008
When I am drawing my last breaths and I look at all the riches of myexistence, at the top of the list will be fatherhood, and thespectacular gift of dancing through life with my son, Daniel.
Dan has a singular gift for delight – the ability to be captivated,surprised, and overjoyed by his experiences. Last Sunday, he and I wenton an outing together. I kept it a surprise, telling him only that wewere going to do something fun. I was really excited, myself – we weregoing to the movies to see an animated film about a fun-loving,introspective and rotund panda who aspires to be a martial artist. Wegot to the movie theater, and five seconds after I bought the ticketsDan said, rather glumly, “I don’t wanna see a movie.”
“Uh oh,” I thought. “This isn’t going well.”
But I asked him to just watch a little bit and see how he liked it,and he agreed, still not knowing what movie was playing. We sat down inthe theater and watched a couple of previews. Then, when the moviestarted he instantly recognized the title. His face absolutely burstforth in a big, bright smile, and he said, “Kung Fu Panda!!”(Captivated, surprised, and overjoyed, remember?) I was watching him ashe reacted to the movie, and I couldn’t help being completely drawn in.And although I liked watching the movie itself, being present to Dan’sun-self-conscious happiness and engagement made it a gajillion timesmore fun.
My capacity for delight has grown enormously since Dan came to ourfamily. To be sure, it’s partly because of my exposure to his capacityfor engagement with the world. But it’s also because of my willingnessto be fully present to him during those moments, so that perhaps I am learning it from him at a limbic level.
This evening at Still Water, I’d like to do something a littledifferent. I invite you to simply share your experiences with delight,and to see what it feels like to be present to that delight – your ownand others’ – while we share.
I think it’ll be fun!