Tag Archives: Gifts

Open to Delight

What is delight? This is something I’ve been pondering for a while.

Delight is the foundation of much of my work. I try to portray aspects of our world in ways that make one stop and, with a sense of happy surprise or an “oh, I never saw it that way” feeling, see in a new way.  There’s often an element of joy and surprise with delight.  Delight has a way of waking you up both mentally and spiritually.

Delight is an attitude, an expectant, active way of seeing and being in the world. The cool thing is, delight exists more if we are looking for or expecting it. Delight is, in large part, a choice. Delight can be given, it can be received. It is smaller, yet at the same time, bigger than happiness. Delight is hopeful.

I confess I have a history with the word delight.  As a child, my mother always told me that my name, Gail, meant “source of delight”.  To be told that as a child, instilled in me the belief in the existence of delight and my capacity to both offer and receive it.  When I was in my twenties, my mother gave me this tiny sculpture of a girl jumping rope. She said that it represented the delight that she saw in me as a child.  It still sits on my kitchen windowsill as a reminder to never lose that attitude.

Open to Delight ©Gail S. Haile

Being open to delight doesn’t make you a Pollyanna, excessively or blindly optimisticIt simply means that we tend to see what we expect or what we are looking for.  The world is only too eager to share sad and terrible things so there’s little chance of  being unaware of them.   Being open to delight can, at the very least, provide balance.

Towards the end of each month this year, I will list a few things, in words as well as pictures, that have brought me delight in the previous few weeks.  It would be fun, as well, if you would leave comments describing how you have been open to delight.

A few of the things on my list of delights for January include:

  • Spotting a brilliant crimson cardinal on a snow covered branch on my way to the gym on a brutally cold morning.

  • Recognizing the handwriting on an envelope in the mail basket as that of  an dear friend with whom I’d lost touch.

  • Seeing swirly frost patterns on the bedroom window with morning light streaming through them.

  • Playing with a fun new lens.  

  • Watching the goldfinches return to our bird feeder.

  • Hearing my husband’s laugh.

  • And in these images of delight (click on the images to enlarge them):


How have you experienced delight lately?


Gifts: Mandala Monday 10/14/2013

It’s been a less than peaceful Sunday afternoon.  We were away visiting family for the weekend and I came home knowing that I had about an hour’s worth of work I needed to get done for Monday.  All easy stuff.  Except that while I was away, the tech gremlins descended upon my office and wreaked havoc.  Nothing worked as it should when I rebooted my computer.  Hard drives seemed to have disappeared, keyboard wouldn’t work, random windows would spontaneously open.  Thus my “quick hour” of work turned into 5 or more frustrating hours of trying to sort things out.  Well, they are semi- sorted out enough that I am hopeful I can accomplish what I need to tomorrow.

The thing is, I always schedule my Monday post to publish at midnight so that you are all welcomed to Monday morning with some mandalas.  Even though the mandalas were created the other day, I hadn’t written the post yet.  At the moment though, I don’t feel like I have the brain power to write much interesting about those mandalas but I don’t want to miss being a bright spot in your Monday mornings.

Then  I remembered my delight when I discovered this stone mandala that someone had created on a beach where I spent 3 solitary hours exploring while on Block Island.  What a gift that was when I found it and a gift today to be able to easily share with you without any deep thought.  Well maybe just a little.  Just the thought that we are given many gifts each day and how often do we recognize them as such? And how often do we send gifts out into the world, as this mandala creator did, never knowing just how they may touch someone else?

Gift mandala_©GSHaile

A Reminder

A magnet designed by Kathy Davis with the words “Each Day is a Gift, Make the most of it” has been on my refrigerator for many years now.  This is not a new idea.  We all know it and tend to glaze over and think, “yeah I know” but rush on to the next “important” item on our list.  But, it IS something that we must be reminded of frequently.

Two events this week have me remembering this life lesson.  I did a portrait session for a couple the other day.  They are, let’s say, over the age when we tend to think about or want our portraits done.  This couple wanted to honor their everyday life together by capturing it in a portrait.  They didn’t wait for a grandchild’s graduation or wedding but instead celebrated their life now at this point.   They celebrated the small act of taking a walk with their dog each day.  They celebrated the small stuff that is actually the big stuff.

The second event was attending the funeral of a friend who died extremely unexpectedly at a relatively young age.  This was quite literally a stunning occurrence for our whole community.

So, yeah, maybe it’s cliché but it is SO true.

Each day is a gift, make the most of it.

Each Day is a Gift
©Gail S. Haile, Haile Fine Photography