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In consideration of enthusiasm!

March 24, 2023 - Author: Jennifer Mylod

I saw a quote today by Charles Kingsley, an early 1800’s era priest, university professor, historian, novelist and poet. I read his words & couldn’t help but think about how they still ring true, over 200 years later. He said: “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy, is something to be enthusiastic about”.

I’ve spent my entire life, never knowing boredom because I always seem to find interesting things to learn, do, and be enthusiastic about! Beginning with my early love of music & singing, playing baritone ukulele at 6 years old, moving onto mountain dulcimer, then guitar, cello, Irish fiddle, bouzouki, mandolin & lastly, recently, the Anglo concertina, which has been a tremendous challenge. The concertina’s not easy, but I LOVE the whole wonderful process of learning this sweet, little instrument!

I’d long ago found, playing tunes on different instruments often enhances one’s other instrumental skills. For example, bowing a tune on the fiddle… then adapting that same tune, to play with a pick on a mandolin brings in a whole new avenue of learning & a fresh angle of the tune comes into view. It’s much like seeing a prism in a crystal… turning the tune like a crystal… You’ll get colorful glints of different lights as it hits various angles… thus are the tunes when stretched across different instruments!

My sweet husband gave me a beautiful Gibson mandolin years ago, & I love to play it when we’re on road trips. It was sweet of him & I totally get that when I played fiddle in the passenger seat of the car, he was fearful of loosing an eye from being poked with my bow. So the mandolin made sense… & is a whole lot safer.

Likewise, the sweet McNeela concertina he surprised me with a few year ago is perfect for road trips too, and although I’m nowhere near ready for prime time playing, I’m joyfully having a ton of fun with it!

And I’m so happy & blessed that our son Philip’s tapping his tremendous, God given talents & is playing guitar & singing! He’s got such a great ear, a beautiful voice & don’t even get me started on his amiable charm & humor! Playing tunes with him is something I’m totally thrilled about!

I love that he can laugh at himself as he’s learning the unique cord progressions of the Irish tunes… and that he finds interesting twists & turns within the tune that make it fascinating to listen to. For me, seeing him find the meaning in music -just like I found the meaning & joy in music… leaves me so, deeply grateful, proud & happy.

Enthusiasm, as the Winter wains and Spring comes peeking around the corner makes my heart thrill as I rifle through my box of veggie, flower & herb seeds, formulating plans for this years gardens. When I suddenly see my perennials starting to break through the soil, it always makes me so happy! It’s just like seeing old friends after a long absence!

Oh, then there’s my chickens… and I’d totally be lying if I said my hens & little coop don’t make me tremendously happy! My chickie girls are spoiled rotten with fresh herbs, veggies, grains & proteins. But the girls are 6 years old now & aren’t producing eggs like they use to, so a few new baby chicks are in the future! But the dear girls have served us well & been most generous & they will live out the rest of their lives in comfort, continuing to be pampered in their little home… aka “Cluckingham Palace”.

In my journey of raising happy, healthy chickens, I began delving deeper into the herbs I grow & their medicinal purposes. I added herbs that aid in respiratory health & that naturally help chickens maintain healthy levels of probiotics & for de-worming. When the COVID plague hit, I expanded my research into plants that promote healthy immune systems, which then led me down the merry path of making tinctures from plants & berries, as well as making herbal teas & such, for our own health & well being. I’ve also been taking an aggressive path in eliminating toxic chemicals… & have been making my own natural herbal cleansers for home & coop, salves, lip balms, soaps etc. The soap link’s to Parnella soaps that are wonderful!

I have enjoyed incorporating an even richer abundance of herbs & veggies & though I’ve always been a health wise cook, learning to incorporate even more immune boosting & inflammation reducing herbs has been an interesting path!

Oh, and don’t even get me started on camping season! We’ll be hauling my beloved lil’ camper, who we affectionally call “Tuffy” up to NY State where we’ve got 3 weeks reserved at our favorite camp ground. And of course, the many last minute, impromptu ‘escapes’ that I’m known to do! I call Mom & say… LETS GO! Then pull up to her house w/ Tuffy in tow. She runs out w/ her suitcase – jumps in the truck – & we’re off, always packed with seriously good food, a couple of dulcimers, a guitar, fiddle, whistles, Native American flutes, bodhran, concertina, mandolin, art supplies, wine & strong coffee… how can one NOT be excited about the camping season ahead!!!

So in conclusion, I’d have to completely agree with the words of Charles Kingsley, that are echoing through the centuries – from the early 1800’s. Though comfort & luxury are great and important… keeping enthusiasm in one’s life is truly essential to having joy. I believe it also goes hand in hand with having gratitude. Being grateful for every little thing… for each morning that dawns, for family & friends, for the abundance we have in life and all those miracles that could just drift by – unnoticed… be grateful for even for the little things, like finishing a good book, or a piece of artwork, lunch with a friend, or tunes!

So always give thanks & praise God… for everything you see and feel is a tremendous gift. The more I am grateful and give thanks, the more I am enthusiastic… and the more joyful I feel… it’s a circle… and so may it be – for you.



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