I just got back from a blissful wooded walk. We live in a beautiful rural part of north central Florida with magnolia and oak trees whose limbs are filled with Spanish moss gracefully draping over the branches that reach out parallel to the dirt road we live on. The beauty of the trees and the peace and quiet is a soul soothing experience.
I was feeling grumbly as I started out this morning about Covid and not feeling safe to travel and fly and see new sights and sounds and people.
Poor me, woe is me, it's unfair...to me.
Then I stopped at the far end of the road west of our house and sat on a stump and just sat there in silence for a while. Once I stopped thinking about ME, I began listening to the wind in the trees. It sounded like the beginning of Appalachian Spring the Aaron Copeland symphony.
Then the birds joined in as if they were the flutes and piccolos adding to the complexity of the song. Up from my phone popped a 1 minute audio from the app Waking Up with Samm Harris on Gratitude.
He said he sometimes thinks about what if he was in a war zone, or in a refugee camp or had been diagnosed with a terminal illness then he thinks, "there are millions of people like that right now on the earth, but I’m not one of them”. And he becomes grateful for what he has.
That really hit me. I was grumbly about not being on a plane going, going, going, and there I was, sitting on a tree stump, surrounded by ancient trees wrapping me in their peace, on a cool sunny day, listening to the wind in the trees and I felt an abundance of gratitude that brought a tear to my eye. I also felt a fair amount of embarrassment for being so greedy.
These past 12 months living with a global pandemic have brought all sorts of challenges and sorrow, but if we stop...and think about what we DO have and fill our hearts with gratitude, hope returns.
No one can do that for us but us. We have the power to change the way we think and feel, one birdsong and one walk in the woods at a time.
My favorite poet Mary Oliver says is best:
"You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life"
Love and Light,