I was out walking my dog in the early morning just before dawn. It was still dark out but light enough to see how the snowfall during the night dusted the trees all around me. It was that picture-perfect coating, as if the trees were dipped in snow sugar, their darkened limbs now whitened with a thin layer outlining their beauty. I took in the sight, grateful that even my bleary eyes could appreciate the beauty before me.
Then I walked a little further and watched as my dog did his morning duty. I stared for a moment at the little brown pile when a thought struck me. My dog’s waste left a small blemish on this scenic landscape. Very easy to dismiss. Yet with a different mindset I could have focused only on it and blinded myself to the beauty all around me.
That would have been the way I looked at it yesterday. I guess you could say I had been suffering from a case of the pre-holiday blues. I‘d been alone in my house, feeling alone and totally immersed in the pity party I’d been having with myself. But in this early morning moment I realized how foolish I’d been, that in a sense what I had been doing was focusing on that small pile of waste and forgetting about everything else that brought joy to my life.
We all do this from time to time. It’s too easy to forget all that we take for granted, yet it is these things that little by little add up to the joy of life.
I got to thinking what would my life be like if I didn’t have the following:
A flush toilet that worked
Heat in my house
Gas in my car
Electricity and internet
A working refrigerator
Food inside my refrigerator
Family and friends
I could go on and on but I imagine you can see my point. I’d be miserable if all those things were suddenly taken away from me, but never once do I never stop to realize how very precious each and every one is to me. It may seem trifling to say that running water makes me happy. I mean, I never think about it when I turn on the faucet. But what if I had to walk five miles in freezing weather to the nearest water source? Not my idea of a good time, believe me. It brought to mind Joni Mitchell’s lyric: Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
I vowed not to make that mistake again. After I compiled this short list, I said a private prayer of thanks for all that I have. Then I smiled, realizing I’d given myself the best start to a day imaginable.
What are you grateful for today?
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