Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thank You!


Rising sun spreading its light across my lawn...

Not all gifts come wrapped in paper and ribbon. This morning, for instance, I caught a glimpse of the eastern sky at dawn. The rising sun painted the mist first pink, then orange, then gold as I stood, holding my breath. Not a leaf stirred, not a sound broke the stillness. It was a masterpiece being painted before my eyes. “Gee!” I breathed. What a gift of grandeur the world lays at my feet each morning.

I thought then of all the gifts I am apt to encounter on any given day, things I may pass off as ordinary and so neglect to be appreciative of. Just the other day I was riding my bicycle past a meadow bordered with crab apple trees. I was pedaling along slowly, wrapped in my thoughts, when a movement caught my eye. I stopped, turned, and looked directly into the curious eyes of a fawn. I was close enough to see its little black muzzle and the fading white spots on its back. We stared at each other for a long moment before the little creature gave a snort and bounded away. “Wow,” I sighed, knowing I might never again be so close to a wildling.

A day or so later along the same stretch of road I stood and watched a small, distant plane do lazy loop-the-loops in the pale blue haze of late afternoon. Suddenly the plane changed directions, flew directly over my head and performed some magnificent aerobatics. I realized I was being treated to my own personal air show. I waved my arms in wild appreciation, the plane waggled its wings in return and flew gallantly off into the sunset. “Thank you!” I shouted into the empty sky.

Occasionally the phone will ring and the voice at the other end will say, “Hi Mom, it’s me.” I will spend several happy minutes catching up on the news of whatever distant child is calling. The calls are not for any earth shattering reason – just base touching. There’s no box big enough to hold the happiness that comes from knowing my children are thinking of me. Those calls are gifts that warm my heart and feed my soul.

There are daily gifts – a hug, a glimpse of the sunrise, an unexpected compliment, something besides bills in the mailbox, a spectacular sunset. There are seasonal gifts – the first birdsong sung on a spring morning, the lovely wiggle-your-toes-in-the-sand feeling of the first day of summer vacation, the smell of wood smoke drifting on the haze of an Indian Summer afternoon, the perfection of a snowflake. There are unexpected surprise! I’m here! gifts, like an impromptu visit from an old friend or a brilliant rainbow arching through the still falling rain. Now that I think of it, I’m knee-deep in gifts I can unwrap with my senses and my attention. Gee! Wow! And thanks.



 Thank you, Hilary!

24 comments:

Tabor said...

And thank you for sharing such loveliness!!

Brian Miller said...

ah you have such beautiful gifts...so cool about the airshow...the deer were out eating the fallen pears in my yard this monrning...

Barbara said...

I had a similar gift tonight at meditation. We started our sit while it was still light out. When I opened my eyes, the only light came from the single candle burning in the middle of our circle. It was such a gentle way for the last light of the day to slip away.

Ruth said...

Oh yes.

Russell said...

No truer words were ever written.

I especially enjoyed the private airplane show.

No, wait. The call from your child was the best. Yes. Easily. The best.

Take care.

Pauline said...

tabor - thanks for reading :)

Brian - if only I could remember to ALWAYS pay attention!

Barbara, see? The things one can notice have meaning if we let them.

Ruth: :)

Russell, I think so, too!

Molly said...

One part of this made tears start to my eyes.......We keep so much squashed down, and put a cheerful face on things....and yet The Bean was remarking, just last evening, that people get excited about going on vacation to Hawaii, or to Disney World, or where ever, and forget to look around them and appreciate what's at their own doorstep....[Prompted by the spectacular sunset last night.]

Hilary said...

Gee Wow and Thank YOU for your always beautiful writing. Many would not even notice the rustling which alerted you to the deer. I'm so glad that you did because now I can feel like I was there.

Meggie said...

Your gifts, are indeed, my Free Treats! How often we overlook these, because we are busy or preoccupied. Thanks for listing some of yours, for us to share.

Pauline said...

Molly - it's so true. We choose when to look, don't we?

Hilary - I can still see every detail of that fawn in mind's eye. I've never been so close to one before!

Meggie - it's why I love to visit your blog!

Dave said...

Pauline, congrats for getting Hilary's POTW. I really enjoyed reading your appreciative story. Thanks for sharing your simple pleasures. - Dave

slommler said...

What treats are in store for us when we pay attention! And boy have you been paying attention! Well done Pauline...well done.
And congrats on your POTW!!
Lovely post!
Hugs
SueAnn

deb said...

this is absolutely how I have to live.
with this perspective.
It really makes all the difference.

Beautiful.

Pauline said...

Dave - thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

SueAnn - I try. Sometimes i remember to write it all down :)

deb - you DO live this way! Loved your post this morning.

CherylK said...

This is such a wonderful post. I'm going to print it up and post it where I can see it often. I'll be more aware of all the things I'm thankful for, too.

Congratulations on being chosen as a Post of the Week...well deserved, for sure.

Reb said...

Congrats on POTW. This is a great reminder to people to be in the moment. I like that you got your own air show and the fawn gave you a good look.

Pauline said...

CherylK - thanks! That's quiet a compliment :)

Reb - my life is rather sedate so of necessity I notice the small things. Sometimes it pays big ;)

jillsy said...

it's so wonderful to be able to appreciate the smaller things in life. too many people go zipping around missing so much. lovely post!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Stopping by from Hilary's. What a pleasure it was to read your positive and uplifting post. I'll definitely be back again soon.
Cheers,
jj

Hilary said...

What a very nice post......and so deserving of POTW.

ladyfi said...

What a wonderful uplifting post. It's these small moments of joy that make life so beautiful, don't you think?

Pauline said...

thanks Hilary and Jillsy

Joanna - you're welcome any time

ladyfi - the small moments add up until they take on the glow of big moments :)

June said...

Your word picture of Dawn is better than any photo, I think: Glorious.

I have come to believe that the best of life is in the appreciation of it, and it seems you feel the same.
Congratulations on your POTW!

Cricket said...

Now that I think of it, I’m knee-deep in gifts I can unwrap with my senses and my attention. Gee! Wow! And thanks.

Yep. It's amazing what you can find if you're looking, innit?

Great post and belated congratulations on the potw. I'm desperately trying to catch up before another round appears.