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Quiet Joy -- and Your "Apple Moments"

Reprint from October 2010 by Martia Nelson (edited)

Martia & RinconMy dog, Rincon, loves fall evenings because he can still tease me into going outside after dinner and playing his favorite game: Apple.

The simplicity of the game belies what a hoot it is. 

It starts when I pick an apple from one of the trees in our backyard, bite off a piece, and throw it.

Then Rincon tears after it.

While he's gobbling up that piece, I take a quick bite for myself. Then I throw the next piece to the other side of the yard, and Rincon is a streak of Yellow Labrador/Golden Retriever lightning flashing in that direction.

And so the game goes. I get roughly every-other piece while Rincon zig-zags his way across the yard chasing down his share. After one or two apples the game is over.

Rincon is beaming. And I am, too.

The funny thing is that I hardly ever start out wanting to play this game. I don't feel like going outside tonight. I'm tired. My TV shows are on. I have things to do, emails to write, Facebook to check.

So if I don't really want to play Apple, why does it always turn out to be a boatload of fun?

For starters, everyone with a dog who gets ecstatic about games involving food knows that kind of enthusiasm is infectious.

(I do have to admit that if someone were tossing cream puffs and mini-cupcakes around the yard, I'd be out there night after night sprinting like an Olympian, too.)

But here's the real thing: There is nothing happening but beauty and fun. 

It's the simple stuff. The apple is juicy, the grass is green, the sky is sunset-y. A dog running is gorgeous and fluid, and the dog I love  running is over-the-moon beautiful.

Nothing is happening that is not the game of Apple
and the tiny backyard oasis that is the stadium for it.

Not even in my head. While we are playing Apple, I am never thinking any further than the next bite. 

That's joy. The quiet kind that's easy to overlook or not make time for.

This week be on the lookout for YOUR game of Apple:
something simple and brief and beautiful
that brings you quiet joy.

Whatever it is, I promise you it won't be able to compete with the hubbub in your life for your attention, so don't make it. 

Watch for it. But gently.
The way you watch for the subtlest colors of the sunset.

And then please tell me what it is. I would love to hear about your "apple moment".

Copyright Martia Nelson 2014

1 Comment

  1. Martia Nelson

    A friend forwarded this blog to her friend; here is the response she got back. I love what her friend said–and that she has now nicknamed quiet joy her “apple moments”. I’m going to start using that phrase; I just added it to the blog title! 🙂

    “Oh what a wonderful story!! I do have those quiet moments, especially when I leave the office at night and go out into the parking lot which has a bit of wilderness since it’s by a lake. Now I have a name for it, “apple moments”.



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