It’s time again to take a look at some of the things that have been bringing me small moments of joy over the past week.
- The sunrise. With the time change I’m back in the sweet spot where I got out for my morning walks in the dark and get to watch the sunrise, sort-of. Due to all the trees and buildings around I don’t have a clear view of the horizon, so unless there’s a lot of good wispy clouds I don’t actually get much of an actual sunrise. It makes a extraordinary sunrise a rare occurrence, but it does happen. It did a couple of times this past week. Laura Lippman (Baltimore-based crime novelist, if you’re not familiar with her) has also taken up a morning walk since the pandemic started. Even though she has no idea who I am, I feel like we’re walking buddies, walking about the same time every morning on opposite ends of the city. She lives in south Baltimore and walks along the water and has a nice view of the sun rising over the city every morning. She posts daily photos of the sun rising across the water by the Domino Sugar sign. I’m always slightly jealous of her sunrises, but I’ve also come to appreciate that mine are a little bit more special because they don’t happen very often.
- The morning moon. On the flip side, I do often get to see the morning moon on my walk. I don’t know if Friday morning’s moon was a full moon, but if it wasn’t it was awfully darn close and it was spectacular. Really one of the most incredible morning moons I’ve seen. It was big and bright and as the sun started to rise and it started to set it just seemed to get even closer and larger. At one point I turned a corner and a woman was just standing in the middle of the sidewalk not moving. Usually when I see that it’s because someone has a dog they’re waiting for to finish its business, but she had no dog. I was walking towards her and she was just still standing there and then pointed behind me. I turned around and wasn’t sure what she was pointing at. Then I got closer and she said to me, look at the moon. She was just standing there marveling at it as I had done earlier. I appreciate that she was just taking the time to stop and enjoy what a wonderful sight it was and trying to share it with others.
- Kids running to school. During my morning walk I walk past the local elementary/middle school. The end of my walk normally corresponds to people dropping their kids off at school, so I pass a lot of walkers. There’s a number of houses on one street that have some elementary age kids about the same age, and I like watching them pop out of their houses and as they move down the street have more people join them. The kids will run as fast as they can until the get to the next intersection where they wait for the parents to catch up to cross the street and then they’re off again. I’m sure their teachers appreciate that they’re getting some of that energy out before heading into class.
- Driving with the windows down. We had some beautiful spring weather last week, which meant I got to drive home from work with the windows rolled down. There’s only really a few times a year in Baltimore where it’s not too cold or too hot to make that feel like a realistic thing to do. I always like when I get to do it and when you’re driving by lots of other people doing it to and you can hear little bits of what everyone is listening to in their cars.
- Tiny work triumphs. It’s always nice to feel a sense of accomplishment at work. I solved a tech problem that someone else tried and failed to figure out. I hate being responsible for technology because there’s always too many problems, but I do like the nice little serotonin boost that comes with solving a problem you didn’t know how to fix. I also had a really good class this week. I’ve never taught this session in person before. The professor invited me for the first time in the spring of 2020 and the beginning of the pandemic derailed that. I wound up just recording myself and they apparently watched it on their own or not. Last year I taught it online, and unsurprisingly the students were not super engaged. I didn’t know how things would go finally teaching it in person, but it was great. The students were super engaged and asked lots of good questions.
- Baltimore has lots of issues with staffing the Department of Public Works since the pandemic started. We’ve gone through periods where they have suspended household collection of recycling completely, and now since omicron they’ve scaled back to recycling pick-up every other week. Some people are suspecting that this is going to be a permanent change. I hope not. But anyway, someone in my neighborhood created a website for people to check if it’s their week for recycling because it’s hard to remember. I like when people create stuff like this just because they can and want to try and be helpful.
- Arabbers on my street. If you’re not from Baltimore I know you have no idea what an Arabber is, but they are street vendors who go around Baltimore selling fruits and vegetables from horse drawn carts luring people out with a distinctive cry. There’s one that comes round my neighborhood fairly frequently and sets up on the main street. When he’s leaving to go back to the stable, I’m not sure why my street is part of his route home, but whenever I hear the jingle jangle of the bells on the horse coming I peek out my window to watch them roll by.
And now for your musical moment of delight.
If you follow me on Instagram this song won’t be a surprise to you. Since I just wrote about another song of Lucius’s forthcoming album for New Music Friday, I didn’t want to write about this song there too. So I have it for you now. It fits here best anyway because it is a joy bomb. The song is a bop, and if the video doesn’t put a huge grin on your face then I can’t help you. They asked people to send in videos of themselves doing selfie dances. Apparently the people who volunteered to be in the video were only given small snippets of the song that corresponded to where they would be in the video and were given some small instructions like obviously what color to wear but then could create what they wanted. I love the final result. I can guarantee I’m going to be watching this video a lot during the rest of 2022, especially if this year continues on its current trajectory.