CHASING DOWN THE MUSE: A few of my favorite things to savor

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens these are a few of my favorite things — Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, “My Favorite Things,” from “The Sound of Music.”

As we circled for our landing at Long Beach Airport, I looked down at the vast spread of twinkling lights on the ground. I had thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful trip to New York. My feelings were mixed on returning. I had a great deal of work ahead of me AND I would miss family left behind in Brooklyn.

Suddenly, as we began our slow descent, I heard the lyrics to “My Favorite Things” in my mind. It started me thinking about some of my own favorite things. There are so many and, as I write this, I wonder just where to begin. At the beginning, of course, but there are so many beginnings as well.


So here are a few — just a few — of my favorite things. Perhaps the will titillate your thought process as well:

The sweet milky, soft breath of a sleeping baby

A caressing cool breeze on a warm summer day

Slanted light through the trees whether early or late


The first bird that chirps in the morning

The whir of the wings of a covey of quail on my approach

Bats swooping and gliding in deep blue twilight

The hawk’s passing black shadow as it touches my shoulder and moves on its way

Soft kitten fur

The yeasty aroma of freshly baked bread and the mouth-watering thought of slowly savoring it with warm, melting butter that drips down my wrist

Fingers sticky with paint, paste, and gel and peeling it off slowly as it dries

The briny smell of the sea at first morning’s light


Warm sand through my fingers

The glimmer of sunshine on crystal the myriad colors and shades that sparkle in this stunning light

The sensation and tart-sweet taste of the pop of a just-picked cherry tomato as I bite down on it

The colors of sunrise and sunset as they range soft to brilliant then fade

Two owls in the high eucalyptus, communing in soft answering hoots

The feeling of strength in my legs on first standing

The “youngsters” — Emily, Reem, Michele come to mind — and their pure lust for life…

Time with friends, catching up, laughing, caring


The strong swell of confidence on some achievement, even knowing it soon will dash itself on the rocks of experience

Sway of long cattails while gliding in a kayak through dragonfly-filled waters on a late fall afternoon (and so many gliding on water moments come to mind on the heels of this one — the sudden lift of hundreds of birds in the waters of Back Bay; gliding in silent communion with friends, not needing to speak to so fully share the experience )

Joy-filled creative time — playing and experimenting and discovering anew

The surge of strong feeling in my heart listening to an aria sung well or the lilting light-heartedness of a familiar tune

The exhilaration of reaching the top of Mt. Whitney — tired and out of breath, but there after so many weeks of preparing

The soft skin and form-fittingness of a snuggling baby in my arms

The smell, touch, taste, sound, sight of a loved one

A long candlelit soak in a warm tub

Snuggling late in bed on a cold morning, in and out of mysterious dreams

and raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

These are just a few of my favorite things that I’m sharing with you.

So much of life is joy-filled.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer, and creative coach exploring the many mysteries of life in the moment. She can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at (949) 251-3883.