Scrubbed Clean

ancient_forest_by_robinhalioua-d5qhc26The sort of morning that appeared last Thursday was one where the air had been scrubbed clean by the rain of the day before. The sky was more blue; the light of the sun more crystal-like. The distant horizon seemed father away than usual because of the clarity everything appeared with. It was a morning where Nature demanded Her beauty be noticed and I willingly acquiesced to Her desire. I felt gratitude for the gift of the morning and an uncommon humility created by noticing what I saw.

Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” I swear its true. My sense of things the first fifteen minutes after I rise is a relatively accurate predictor of how I will feel through my day. Beginning with a sense of gratitude has multiplied my joy of living at least ten-fold. From “The Blank Book” by Lemony Snicket

It was my mantra that “I was not a morning person” for most of my life. My preference was to be a creature of the night staying up as late as I could and yet still function decently well the following day. Now it’s easy to see I spent most of my days sleep deprived and the effect of it was not a positive thing. And more so, it’s clear now I was never a “night person” and rather only a creature of habit.

Have you ever seen the dawn? Not a dawn groggy with lack of sleep or hectic with mindless obligations and you about to rush off on an early adventure or business, but full of deep silence and absolute clarity of perception? A dawning which you truly observe, degree by degree. It is the most amazing moment of birth. And more than anything it can spur you to action. Have a burning day. Vera Nazarian

There are fewer people paying attention to a day’s beginning than any other part of the time the sun is up. The number of folks who notice and even celebrate sunsets are numerous. Those paying attention to sunrise are far less in numbers. In that line of thought I realize early morning is more personally mine that any other part of daylight.

Since reading “Walden” as a kid I have held Henry David Thoreau close in heart and mind as a personal hero. First, because he chose to dance to the beat of his own drummer and follow his heart, no matter what others thought. Second, because he became close friends with some of the deepest underpinnings of life. He saw things most of us hardly notice although at this point in my life I am awakening, even if just a little, to the small machinery of life all around me that Thoreau came to know so well.

Morning brings back the heroic ages. There was something cosmical about it; a standing advertisement, till forbidden, of the everlasting vigor and fertility of the world. The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night. Henry David Thoreau

As something of a “grownup” I have lived long enough to notice, many only at mid-morning, some 17,000 new days. Fate willing, I should have at least another 7,000 left to enjoy. With great gratitude and thankfulness, I assure you that each one will mean a little more than the day before.

When you arise in the morning,
think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive;
to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Marcus Aurelius

Full of Light and Color

My apologizes if I have gone overboard recently in expressing my love of early fall. It truly is a magnificent time of the year and inspires me beyond any other season. Putting into words how October moves me would be like trying to explain what love is or accurately expressing in words the colors of a western sunset; such things can be attempted, but not accomplished. It is the time of year when my mind is most alive with thoughts brought on largely by the of splendor of autumn contrasted by the naked beauty winter will bring soon after.

“When the Frost is on the Punkin” By James Whitcomb Riley
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! …
I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The seasons have often been used as a metaphor for life… and some say fall is middle age. So far it is the season of living I have loved best and when I have grown most. Soon comes winter; the time of sweaters and jackets and scarves and gloves. Clothes not worn in six months will feel new again. For me autumn is a time of joy beyond explanation and I am grateful for every red, yellow and gold moment of it.

How beautifully leaves grow old.
How full of light and color are their last days.
John Burroughs

Muffling Gift of Falling Water

Often I have written about my love of rain and how it fills a crack in my soul like nothing else. A long, soaking shower makes me feel safe and protected for reasons I have never fully understood, but I love the feeling just the same. Maybe probing for the why of it would mess it up any way.

This weekend where I live is forecast to have the two days of the first good rain we have had in a long time. The land around is dry and parched. Everything green is suffering and lots of it is only barely clinging to life. So today I celebrate in advance the life-giving rain that is on its way.

From “Rain in Summer” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!

The clover-scented gale,
And the vapors that arise
From the well-watered and smoking soil.
For this rest in the furrow after toil
Their large and lustrous eyes
Seem to thank the Lord,
More than man’s spoken word.

Near at hand,
From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees
His pastures, and his fields of grain,
As they bend their tops
To the numberless beating drops
Of the incessant rain.
He counts it as no sin
That he sees therein
Only his own thrift and gain.

Already I know people and the landscape will be more joyful next week than today. The green will burst forward for all to see and the outdoors will be a more pleasant place to work and play. Gratitude will be due Mother Nature and I have already begun expressing my part.

The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected;
I have always considered the rain to be healing — a blanket —
the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day,
or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed
by the information of sunlight and yearn
for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.
Douglas Coupland

Other blogs about rain:
Loving the Rain « Good Morning Gratitude
Loving the Rain Part II « Good Morning Gratitude
Mother Nature Gone Crazy? « Good Morning Gratitude

Pictorial Expressions of Gratitude

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then here are 10,000 words to express my gratitude this morning.









As I discovered these images each one provoked a positive emotion within: one of gratitude for life; for the ability to see, feel, hear, touch and smell. I hope they bring you a similar sense of awe, beauty and thankfulness.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair.
Kahlil Gibran