103: A sunset

We had a lovely sunset yesterday.  If it hadn’t been so cold (and I hadn’t been so lazy), I would have taken the tripod and camera and gone out to the meadow to take a few shots of the gorgeous colors in the sky.  Alas, both conditions prevailed and this was the best I could do from balcony.

I resolve…

To practice gratitude.  I have already started a gratitude journal, something I’ve done in the past that I know works quite well in helping me focus on the positives in my life.  However, I want to take it a step further this year by pausing occasionally throughout my day to center myself with a quiet “thank you” or two.

For example, while washing dishes this morning I said a silent thanks for the clean, running water I am privileged to have available to me.  Many of us probably take that sort of thing for granted.  I know there are times when I do.  But there are millions of people in the world who would find clean water a luxury so I wanted to be sure to acknowledge how lucky I am to be able to turn on a faucet and have fresh, clean, potable water.  So lucky, in fact, that I can use it for washing.

This line of thought then diverged to being thankful for the dishes and for the food that not only dirtied the dishes but nourished us.  Taking the time to do this turned a chore into an act of gratitude.  It no longer felt so chore-like and I was happy to be doing it.

(Note:  The flower photo was taken at the U.S. Botanic Garden.  My camera was cold from being outdoors.  The heat and humidity in the garden caused the lens to fog up.  I took a few photos while I was waiting for it to clear just to see how they would come out.  I processed this in Photoshop to give it a more painting-like feel and to reduce some of the noise caused by the fogged lens.)

Clear and bright

We have been gifted with another bright, sunshiny day here in the Bogs.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Of course the clear sky means cold temperatures since there are no clouds to hold in the heat.  It was 16 degrees when I rolled out of bed this morning, but a balmy 34 when I stepped outside in the afternoon.

I planned to skip going into the woods today since I took the high meadow path.  I thought I’d hang out there and by the pond.  But as I came around the back of the pond I looked down into the woods and saw great sheets of ice where the creek had come up over its banks.

I noticed  a variety of patterns and shapes in the ice.  I even found a few interesting ice formations sparkling in the sunlight.

Although it’s still early winter, I’ve already started looking for (and almost craving) spots of color…

… or patches of sunlight in the shady spots.

Sometimes I get truly lucky and find both.