Tag Archives: gratitude

Memorial Day

It’s Monday morning.  I’m sitting on my porch and realize it’s quieter than most Mondays.  It sounds and feels more like a Sunday, but it’s Memorial Day, the time for remembrance and honor, a day off work and school for many, a day of barbecues and picnics and the kick-off of the summer vacation season for others. 

Even though this is a more somber holiday, and in fact I’ve often wondered if it’s appropriate to say Happy Memorial Day when we are honoring people who have died, there is that holiday expectant feeling in the air for me.  It happens without intention. The occasional car I hear, I wonder, where are they going? What are their plans this day, this week? 

The weather is cool, like earlier spring, so that I could almost use a sweater, as I have goosebumps on my arms. The begonias and Christmas cacti here on the porch seem none the worse for wear, though, after a chillier night and morning. 

I love the mornings, the way the young sunlight filters through the trees, the glimpses of pale blue sky.  I adore the stillness and quiet, though traffic is picking up, and I hear machinery running across the road somewhere, the occasional human voice and slamming door, then suddenly it’s quiet again for a brief few seconds, which seems right for a day of memorial.  I’m alone, yet I’m not. Nature is all around, and its own little sounds of bird call and breeze are comforting and nurturing.  The birds know nothing of Memorial Day as they sing and call and chirp and flit from tree to tree, nor the bunny as he basks in the sun over in the driveway, nor all the other little critters in the yard and trees, as Nature goes about another day.

I’m thankful for this day, this time, and for all those who gave their lives to help make this life possible for me.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Even with so many stressful and upsetting things going on in the world, there are lots of things I’m grateful for. My family and the technology to keep me in touch with them, the sweet cats that share my home, a few days off from work to relax, good food to eat, enjoyable movies to watch, and as always, beautiful Nature all around me. I hope you have a good day, too.



Happy Birthday, Henry David Thoreau!

(July 12, 1817 — May 6, 1862)

Two of my favorite Thoreau quotes:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

“The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”

Thoreau is a favorite among us pantheists. When I was a teenager, long before I would come to identify as a pantheist, I was drawn to Thoreau and Walden. I knew that book was important, and it resonated with me, even though I wasn’t quite ready at that time to pursue my own connection with nature and its importance in my life.


(Photo of Thoreau courtesy of Library of Congress)


We make memories every day, but for some reason, some of them latch onto our minds and especially our hearts more than others.


Last week I spent a few days with one of my daughters at her house in the Raleigh area to help babysit my other daughter’s two little girls while she and her husband were on a trip. I miss those little ones so much since they moved away from here. It was wonderful seeing them fall asleep at night, wake up in the morning, and everything in between…walks, meals, laughter, playing with dogs, eating ice cream (twice!), fingernail painting, playgrounds, deer at dusk, an unexpected double rainbow, doing yard work, silliness, sweetness, and the greatly missed hugs….really just being together.

But one memory I’ll keep with me is going to the nursery with my daughter (and the grands, of course) to look for plants for her yard. There was free ice cream and lemonade, face painting, lots of colorful bridges to cross as we wandered among beautiful trees and flowers and fountains. She decided on Rose of Sharon, hostas, and lantanas. While the older granddaughter had a bright butterfly painted on her cheek, the little one sat patiently eating every drop of her ice cream, then both girls got free flowers to take home. It was a lovely, sweet, and special day I’ll carry in my heart for a long time. Just the beauty of simple everyday life spent out in nature with family.

Granted, every day or week may not be crammed with so many “big” blessings, but I do believe there’s something to be thankful for every single day we’re alive on this beautiful planet.