Today, I am grateful for my favourite tree. Leafless, in Winter, the shape of it seems just so perfect to me and the shadow it casts as I view it from the path by the road on sunny days is such a simple delight, yet so utterly captivating that no traffic is heard when I see it there; everything is on hold as I surrender to its uncomplicated beauty. This week, on the slow stroll through the park on my return home from dropping my boys off at school, and over the weekend too, I have watched it intently. I admire every detail that nature presents to me as I indulge in my ten minute detour of a gratitude walk; it sets me up for the day ahead. My favourite tree is one of the highlights. Leaves are starting to appear, slowly unfurling, filling in the gaps a little more each day as Spring sets in and new growth greens cover up the browns that Autumn left behind. At the weekend, the sun shone through, low in the sky as the boys and I sauntered home after an active day out of doors. We stopped for a while to capture and cherish the view. Tomorrow, it will change again. Each day different; every day something new.
Today, I am grateful for the rush of the train, from London to Chichester and back again… I am grateful for the blurring of trees; the muted palette of the landscapes this evening as I passed through; the silhouettes of towns and of castles against them. I am grateful that their beauty never fades for me; it always pleases in Summer haze or torrential rain. I have a season and a half of this on my horizon as a new contract of once weekly visits to work on the south coast begins again. I will watch the beginning of Spring and encounter Summer in her full glory… each week a new something to capture my attention and imagination. Each year I forget until I see it again; every season holds magic of its own in this ever-changing scene. I am grateful for the soothing rattle and hum; the bounce and the sway; the soon home again. I am grateful for this time before the big city approaches and I am part of the homeward race on the underground train.
Today, I am grateful for the spaces in between… the sun between showers, sky between trees, blue between dark clouds, stops between steps, naps between tasks, moments of peace between fights in the back seat.
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After a rush, rush morning, ready for fresh air and exercise, big boy and I ventured out. Time together just the two of us is all too rare, so today, I was grateful for a little of that. Huge grey cloud suggested rain, but we chose to have faith. As we neared the park, the blue sky that had been mostly hidden came out and the sun showed its face again. The focus of my gratitude practice today was mindfulness… stopping to take in the views and feel the wind on my skin brought me back to the moment again. I walked a little, stopped; walked a little, stopped. Beauty is everywhere; always.
Today, I am grateful for the most extraordinary light from the train home this evening. A blissful golden hue fell upon the grasses in the fields outside Chichester and as we passed by the flooded areas that have turned the Sussex countryside into a Lake District, dark rainclouds loomed and a rainbow straddled the blue band in between. This glorious sight… the most stunningly beautiful views of wild nature that I have ever seen from this train, kept me going all the way home to Barnet. So grateful for that… the beauty is still in my mind. I had no camera, but even if I did, I don’t think I could have captured it.
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“Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.”