This week my neighbor asked me if I would come and present the didgeridoo to her kid’s pre-school class. Partly for the sake of good neighborly relations and partly because the offer intrigued me, I agreed to do it.
I brought the big agave didgeridoo which is quite impressive in size and before I even played it, they were very excited. One girl even left the room because she was so scared that the sound would be too loud. As soon as I started to play the drone, the whole classroom broke into laughter—they were just so delighted and surprised by the sound, they could barely contain themselves. Their little faces lit up, their eyes and ears alive with utter presence in the moment. It took all of my concentration not to just break up and laugh with them to be part of that wave of utter delight.
In reflecting on this experience, I realized how seldom I completely and utterly abandon myself to delight. There is a strong element of abandoning one’s judgment, moving into a beginners’ mind of innocence, openness and a complete willingness to be surprised.
Another incident this week brought me delight. A man called and asked if I would give him didgeridoo lessons in trade for him inventing a didgeridoo that could be taken apart and put into a backpack and then reassembled when I wanted to play it. I wanted to see what he could do and was happy to trade. He ended up fixing our bathtub/shower that had been a thorn in my side for months now. And he has given me many ideas about improvisation within the realm of didgeridoo making. What I have received from him I value much more than the money he would have paid me. He surprised and delighted me with his ingenuity and interest.
As we become adults (as I typed adults, I put an extra “l” in accidentally and saw the word “adullts,” maybe not a typo after all), many of us develop a sense that we have seen it all before, that nothing can surprise us. Maybe we do this to shield ourselves from disappointment or to keep from looking to others like fools for not having seen something coming. A creeping cynicism invades our worlds dismiss so many things that are worthy of our delight. Delight is a tonic that infuses one with energy. I find that it actually takes more energy to look cool, be jaded and resist the charms of the world than to give in to that purely natural sensation of delight.
On this Mother’s Day morning as we honor our mothers and recall our childhoods, let us remember those moments when we felt delight and bring them into our present experience. This morning, our cactus bloomed in splendid white and yellow and the smell wafted all the way up to our back door. As I lay on the ground with my nose in its bloom, I was overcome with the delight and magnificence of this rare occurrence (it blooms for two days some years and other years, not at all).
Those kids woke up something in me that I am relaxing into now. All I have to do is get out of the way, relax and let delight overtake me.