Gratitude Sunday: DeLight and Wonder

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Quote of the Week – “Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.” Welwyn Wilton Katz

Sunday Haiku
Long nights, dark days, sun
promises its return one
cold day at a time.

Sunday Musings
‘Tis the season for magic and wonder. For joy and amazement. For gratitude and connection.

It feels like magic during solstice and the darkest days of the year, if we open our eyes to the wonders around us; it can help keep our hearts open as well. Especially when dark days include tough times, those connections between family and friends can help raise us above our daily trials.

Nothing stops the solstice. The earth turns on its axis. The sun stands secure in its sentinel position. The return of the light is still promised. Year after year, we can step outside our door and breathe. We have lungs that work, fresh air to fill them, and muscles to stretch as we raise our arms in supplication to the sky.

Grass grows from the soil, the dirt below our feet. Earthworms go about the aeration business regardless. Slugs munch along biding their time hiding until the really yummy fruits and and flowers and veggies are ripe in summer. Fungus, and lichens, and moss show themselves in unique shapes and colors, tiny jeweled delights.

Trees spread their beauty, budding, and leafing, and shading, and metamorphosing color, and mulching themselves when their leaves have lived their short seasonal life. Trees shade us from the heat of summer; lovely flowers tickle the nose and amuse the eyes; sweet fruits tease our taste buds and fill our hungry bellies. Their naked brown branches reaching toward the sky promise a return in summer and show off empty birds’ nests waiting for the next inhabitants.

Evergreen branches shield us from snow and relieve our eyes with something green against the gray and white of winter. If we ask the cedars and the pines and the firs to share and bring them into our homes they reward us with refreshing fragrances and cleaner air.

Hardy ivy vines grow wherever they can. Ever the opportunists, they will grip hold of any support: tree trunks, fences, utility poles. They grow despite the worst conditions, whether dry or wet, they adapt by clinging to their hosts. The green and red heart shape of their leaves seem to redeem them from the advantage they take of their support systems.

Holly surprises with red berries amongst the shiny pointy leaves. Ancient holly bushes have woody branches heavy enough to use for magic wands or art projects. If you ask the plant to share and cut some sprigs to bring indoors, you are gifted with fresh woodsy fragrances in your home.

Plants share their summer’s labor with us, giving up their fat sweet juicy fruit, leafy greens, and a yummy myriad of vegetables to please any palate. Some animals share their bodies that we humans might have quality proteins to take into our bodies. Beloved pets who give of themselves freely, sharing a purr or a furry snuggle in commiseration or support to soothe us in our distress.

None of which can happen without water. Precious water.

Water. The treasure that provides us life. Water makes our bodies. It rains down upon us, a gift from the sky, hydrating our skin, washing us clean. It flows in rivers and creeks beside us soothing our tired bodies with quiet ripples. It ebbs and flows in oceans beside our continents and around our islands. Many of us are fortunate to have clean pure water in our lives every day. For some of us water may have saved our very lives.

Water is mysterious, the definition of a shape shifter, it vaporizes, or freezes, or liquefies. It can be beauty in ice, or uniquely individual like snowflakes. When joined with light water gives us rainbows, reminders of the beauty all around us.

Each drop of water is the same as each other but as different as individual people. No two the same. Even identical twins have minute differences. Every cell different but similar whether related by blood or not. Even some people who are different day to day, like people who sometimes write upbeat posts and sometimes not so much. There is beauty in each one of us and for each one the struggle is different, but similar in that the struggle is real. Just because one person doesn’t experience it doesn’t make the struggle any less real for the person struggling. Some of us suffer more than others.

The other wonders of people: the ability to connect, to care, to share, to love, to empathize. How we are able to communicate at all. The ability to listen and hear the concerns of others. The ability to say I might not understand but I will stand beside you. The ability to tune into the quiet space inside, the internal source of strength. The ability to say I don’t know you but I see you and I love you because you are you and for no other reason.

Every day this earth continues its journey around the sun. The moon glows at night reflecting day’s sun light in orbs and crescent smiles. Between the two, gravity keeps us grounded, where grass grows under our feet, and the water of life falls freely from our heavens.

We get to have cranky days now and then, maybe even cranky weeks sometimes. With eyes open, and heart open we see and feel the truth of the wonders of the real world are all around us. Then the challenge becomes how to restrain yourself from kissing and hugging the world and everybody, because, you know, personal space. But today? Today, I love you all. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Winter red berries seem to promise the return of the light. A wreath from Christmas past. Some holly bushes have smooth leaves to carry the scarlet berries. Green and red ivy entwine our heart with heart shaped leaves.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} The American Side (2016, not rated), a mystery involving Tesla designs (I love all things Tesla), hard to follow as all the women look alike. * Binged through season 3 of Broadchurch (2017, rated TV – MA), another mystery in the town of Broadchurch, this one with a rape and many possible suspects, particularly pertinent with the current wave of sexual harassment allegations, and interwoven with bits from the last two seasons. Easy to binge on because David Tennant is so intense. Impressive panoramic photography of the sea and surrounding areas, and cute quaint villages are a bonus for the eyes. * Death on The Nile (1978, rated PG), the original from the novel by Agatha Christie. Classic actors: Peter Ustinov as Hercules Poirot, Bette Davis, David Niven, Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith. Delightfully over-acted in the old Hollywood style and the dry tongue-in-cheek humor of Christie’s writing that is so subtle. Plus we get Egypt and some wonderful photography. * Die Hard (1988, rated R), with Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman. I love Alan Rickman, and he plays such a great bad guy. This is the first time I’ve watched this older movie all the way through. Took me two nights because though it’s a thriller/action movie, I fell asleep, and I must have fallen asleep in the calm before the storm as the second night was so much more exciting. The movie is billed as a Christmas movie, but just because it takes place at Christmas and they play a few Christmas songs, and (spoiler alert) the good guys prevail, doesn’t make it a Christmas movie. Though when the two cops hugged at the end, I was bawling. Maybe I’m wrong about it being a Christmas movie. I’ve been wrong before.

Currently ReadingMy Absolute Darling (2017, fiction) by Gabriel Tallent. I have mixed feelings about this novel. On the one hand if I never read about guns; knives; chain saws; axes; destructive arson fires; grotesque poverty; sexual, physical, and emotional abuse it could make me very happy. On the other hand words of beauty put together with words of beauty are still beautiful and they still create beautiful sentences and imaged pictures. I am half way through, and am having second thoughts about finishing, wishing I had the resolve of Nancy Pearl to put a book down after 40 pages if not entirely enthralled. I keep thinking the author must have some major issues if this is the story he carried inside him, but I am ever hopeful for redeeming qualities in the novel beyond beautiful sentences. * Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power (2017, sociology) by Noam Chomsky. So much vital information out there average Americans don’t read, and education is being controlled by the wealth class so we don’t learn it in schools. We must seek it out and educate ourselves. The truth is out there and the truth will out or Rome might fall for the second time.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Writing.
  • Auto-didactism.
  • Electricity.
  • The ease of computers, spell and grammar checkers, cut and paste.
  • My precious counselor who goes out of her way to be my support system.
  • Another dear friend who is going out of her way to help me get to the pool during this time of no car.
  • My niece and her family who went out of their way to come get me for the family holiday gathering.
  • The publisher I work with who came for a visit and brought stocking stuffers for our stockings.
  • My sister who found an antique snow globe tree ornament, so beautiful, and in great condition, and I had not found one for the son’s 24 year traditional collection of snow globes.
  • My brother-in-law’s homemade soup.
  • My other niece who made rolls from Mom’s famous recipe, the one that says two tablespoons, but she meant the big spoons in the silverware drawer, not measuring spoons, so getting the proportions are not quite the same unless you have Mom’s spoons. Niece arrives early in the day so the rolls are done by the time everyone else arrives. And they go so well with homemade soup.
  • Leftover homemade desserts and munchies piled into bags and boxes so everybody has some to take home.
  • Surprising the neighbor lady at my brother’s house with a plate of rolls, and all of us, ages 2 to 64, singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” at the top of our voices because we know she is nearly completely deaf. Sweet old dear didn’t recognize us, though when Mom was alive it was tradition to take this neighbor a plate of rolls with a little tub of homemade jam. She may not have known us but we got a kick out of ourselves for intruding on her quiet lonely day and sharing some Christmas cheer.
  • The youngest of us at our gathering, the 2 year old, who fell asleep on his grandpa’s lap. Eye treat of love.
  • Being able to spend time with family I rarely get to see, though the time is so brief it feels like we don’t hardly catch up.
  • Little grand-nieces, aged almost 6 and almost 10, cousins and fast friends forever, giving spontaneous performances with riddles and jokes to the joy of all us adults.
  • That Christmas can happen in unusual ways, but somehow we always make it happen, and letting go and going with the flow sometimes works out just fine.
  • Hearts swollen with love and life and light.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

This entry was posted in abundance, Aging, Family, GRATITUDE, Grief, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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