The other day as I was stepping outside the house I looked up to see a group of trumpeter swans flying over my head. With their raucous honking it was impossible to miss hearing and seeing them. They were flying low enough that their tremendous size and wingspan was easy to see. I paused and stood staring up at them, watching until they disappeared from sight. What a miracle they were! It lifted my heart to hear and see their wild beauty.
Wonder and Gratitude
On a recent evening as I stepped out on the deck I noticed puffy white clouds that filled most of the sky. The setting sun turned some of them golden. Wonder and gratitude again! It makes me so happy that little things like a beautiful sky or sunset color in the sky are so beautiful. Tiny things captivate me as well. Like a leaf frozen in some ice with what appears to be a miniature leaf on top of it. Or the blazing colors of sumac leaves as they turn orange, gold, and red in the fall.
Friends and family
The amazing blessings of the people in my life also fill me with gratitude and joy. I feel blessed daily that our kids and grandkids live near us and that we enjoy spending time together. Yesterday when I heard one of my friends read a short essay that she wrote I felt the goose bump truth of her words. I experienced great joy knowing that I was sitting with my tribe of women. And when one of my friends sent me a short story that still gives me a belly laugh when I remember it, I know I am truly blessed.
Another friend told us of a difficult time in her life at a recent gathering. I smiled inside as I noticed that her inner beauty and persistence were expressed externally with a big “Nevertheless she persisted” tattoo on her arm. As I watch friends and family grow and spread their wings they remind me of beautiful wild birds soaring through the sky.
What brings you wonder and gratitude?
What fills you with wonder and gratitude? Is it something in nature? The kindness of friends? Or something perfectly ordinary (but wonderful nonetheless) like hot and cold running water? Often I see something in nature, or the color of the light in the sky, or a bunch of wispy puffy white clouds, or black silhouettes of tree branches in the twilight sky. These things slay me with their beauty.
The presence of so many loved ones in my life fills me with joy.
Despite all of the horrible things that keep happening in the world, there are good things also. I hold onto the beauty, wonder, and gratitude. It keeps me from being overwhelmed with the senseless violence, cynical politics, and growing divisiveness in our nation.
Keep seeing beauty my friends, experiencing wonder and gratitude, and choosing presence and joy. This will bring a little light into a sometimes dark world.
May you walk in beauty.