Almost every morning, my husband and I walk along the river with our Labrador pup who takes it as her personal mission to make sure every squirrel is kept up a tree, every bird aloft and and every chipmunk out of sight. She has her favorite swimming spots and, while Steve and I discuss our plans for the day, she is busily enjoying hers.
With so many frightening things going on in the world, it’s a joy to take pleasure in her pleasure and presence and it reminds me to pay attention to what is right in front of me – all that is good, all that is too easily taken for granted until it’s threatened or lost.
On every walk, we stop for a couple of minutes of silence at a spot that looks out over the river. The minute I plant my feet at the edge of the water and look out past the rope swing to the rising sun, I feel grateful. I’m grateful that the wind blowing my way is no more than a gentle breeze, that the sun is warm on my face, that the water is clean, plentiful and contained within its banks. I am deeply grateful for the abundance of food I enjoy, the roof over my head and the opportunity to work with great people. I realize how blessed I am to have family and friends that care for me, to have health and a place like this to walk and share with someone I love.
With the falling leaves, I also realize that things change. My good fortune will not always be so. Summer doesn’t last forever. But today, rather than worry or fear, I choose gratitude.