March 2013 003a

The neighbor’s tree

In life one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day — or to celebrate each special day.

~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

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I am grateful

Morning stripes

Everything is a gift.  Grateful living is a celebration of the universal give-and-take of life, a limitless yes to belonging.

~ David Steindl-Rast

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Wishing you a day filled with love, gratitude, and happiness.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Feathers in my cap

Thank you

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

~ William Arthur Ward

I have been remiss in the area of gratitude lately.  Over the past several weeks some wonderful fellow bloggers have nominated me for various awards.  Please accept my sincere thanks for the honors you have bestowed upon me, and my apologies for waiting so long (in some cases) to acknowledge the awards.

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221: Gratitude

I have so many blessings in my life.  I could sit here all day — maybe all week or all month — listing them, each one more than likely leading to another.  Blessings are like that, building one upon another.  I do like to take a moment a few times daily to give thanks for some of those gifts.  It keeps things in perspective, putting the joys of life ahead of any perceived negatives (which sometimes turn out to be positives).

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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.

62: Wind, water, sky, and earth


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~ Thornton Wilder


Today is a gift.  Every day is a gift, of course, but today feels special.  I’m not sure why.  There is something in the air.  A shift.  A transformation.

(Above and below.)

The temperature has been dropping since I rolled out of bed this morning.  The wind is singing.  Clouds are being whisked away as the sun takes over the sky.

(Ripples and sunlight, dried flowers in the wind.)

The leaves on the ground are no longer crispy and crunchy.  I can walk silently through the woods and under the trees as I make my way around the pond.  We had rain last night.  It must have followed the bright flash of lightning and big boom of thunder that woke us from our dreams in the middle of the night.

(The creek and lines in the woods.)

Few leaves are left on any of the trees, just a stubborn straggler here and there trying to hold on as the wind tries to force it to let go.  The sugar maples in the neighbor’s yard which were full of color yesterday now have a carpet of yellows, reds, and oranges at their feet.  The neighbor will probably rake them up.  I never saw much sense in that when you’re living out in the country.  Or in the suburbs for that matter.  Why not leave them or mulch them on the lawn to feed the grass?

(Peering through the rushes.)

It will snow soon.  Not today.  Not tomorrow.  But before the week is out.

(Today’s view of the pond from the front of the property.)