Some days are a little out of tune. There's nothing major wrong, but we're in a minor mood. We've got a lingering cold, or we're still waiting for the help desk to get back to us, or someone near to us is in a grumpy mood, or we just don't feel like doing the tasks on today's to-do list.
Yesterday was like that, so I decided to procrastinate on the rest of the to-do list by doing one of the chores that seemed to have good potential for brightening my mood once it was accomplished. I've been aware that my hammer dulcimer needed tuning for the last while, but as you can see by the number of strings above, tuning can be time-consuming, so I kept putting it off.
On the other hand, it's not very demanding -- I use an electronic tuner that gives me a green light when the note is in the right range, so it's mostly a matter of plucking a string with a pick in one hand and fiddling with the key with the other, over and over again. So I plucked and twiddled for a half hour or so, and then picked up the hammers for a trial run.
Yelp! It sounded worse than when I started, a jangle of cacophony . I eventually figured out that the dulcimer had gotten enough out of tune that the tuner was assuming some notes were a half note lower than they actually were, and it was patiently helping me tune a G as an F# and so on. I hadn't been paying enough attention to catch it.
Once I realized that and finished the task with more care, it didn't take long to tune it properly, and to pick up the hammers and play a more melodious tune.
Paying attention, being aware, taking notice -- whether it is seeing a loved one as they truly are, or taking a moment to enjoy the beauty of a small flower, or being mindful as we go about a relatively mindless task, life is more melodious when we slow down, look carefully and listen.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.