What a Gift!

Energy & spirits have been pretty low of late. I haven’t been walking nearly as often as I prefer (i.e., daily).

This morning, birdsong called me outside earlier than I’d intended to head out for a walk. Birds wound up becoming the theme of the day!

The walk was good – though it is quite dreary here today. It came to me as I walked that, what with the state of the world being what it is (🙁 🙁 🙁), I need to push my two key sanity-maintaining practices (gratitude, i.e., as a daily active practice of giving thanks for so many blessings both in my own life, & those laid on by our beautiful Earth; & walking) to the very top of my personal agenda.

I’m involved in a variety of things currently – various commitments – but much of my current volunteer work can be done whenever I choose to do it. Since I’m both cheerier & more energetic if I keep up the gratitude & the walking, these 2 things need to top my list, preferably every single day.

It felt good to articulate this for myself. (It ought to be utterly self-evident! But I forget, & lapse. & get brought up short.)

I reached the end of the walking loop (&, as is often the case, had filled a small bag with garbage I’d picked up, particularly along the shoreline; I call this Plastic Patrol) & stepped off the pavement to walk into a little area of trees & scrub where in the past I’ve sighted robins in the very dead of winter on a cold-cold-cold-frigid!! February day.

Well. Am I ever glad I did!!

Almost immediately, I spotted a cardinal in a tree – a female.

I love cardinals – their amazing red colour, & their song (no song today, but that’s okay. 🙂) The males, of course, have been gifted by Nature/evolution with their stunning vibrant red.

I stood there quietly for a moment (luckily, there were no pesky humans nearby at that point), appreciating the sight of this cardinal up so very close.

It gets better!

Then I spotted a rabbit in the undergrowth a short way down the path.

(& better!)

Then, I turned just to the left to see a chickadee on a branch right beside me.

Almost invisible chickadee. I am a poor photographer, I’m afraid.

Almost invisible chickadee. I am a poor photographer, I’m afraid.

Then, I saw a male cardinal.

Cardinal shot Nov. 30'18.JPG

& more chickadees.

& more cardinals of both genders!

One of the chickadees flew right at me! This happened twice.

(I’ve heard in the past of chickadees lighting on an outstretched hand, if you stand quietly & have some seeds in it. Not sure if these chickadees were after food, or after me…)

Well, I was in a fit of rapture & appreciation.

I continued to stand quietly, then backed away a bit so I could open up my knapsack & get my camera out.

Which I did, & snapped a few photos.

I felt as though maybe the gods / goddess (or the term I sometimes use: Great Spirit) were rewarding me for my deep love of Nature & maybe my efforts on the walk to pick up garbage so it wouldn’t go into/back into the lake, to be swallowed by critters whose digestive systems were surely not designed for such things.

Whatever it was “about” (most likely it was not “about” anything! It just was…)

It was just such a gift!

Sooooo timely, on a day when I’d a) made a point of “doing” some gratitude time upon waking & b) had been “called out” earlier than planned, by the birds singing joyfully outside my apartment window.

Grace grace grace.

All of it grace.

Pure grace.

🙂 🙂 🙂

A grateful Janet

A Few Quotations

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on – have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear – what remains? Nature remains. – Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)


“What’s important is not what’s gone, but what remains.” ~ from the film ‘Home

“My own definition of Dada: an insane lyrical impulse to remain light and carefree, always looking for something to wonder or marvel at, or love, or laugh at, but always remaining illogical and joyous in a world gone mad with too much logic, seriousness, science, newspapers, war, and destruction.” – Irving Stettner

Life is short! Break the rules! Forgive quickly! Kiss slowly! Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile. (source unknown)

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

“Love life. Take great pleasure in small offerings. Believe that the world owes you nothing. Understand that every gift given to you is just that.” – Maya Angelou

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, but it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” ~ Agnes Repplier

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” – Walt Whitman

“Here’s a test to find whether your mission in life is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t!” – Richard Bach, author

“The world is too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but love.” – William Sloane Coffin

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something.” – Carl Sagan, astronomer (1934 – 1996)

“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.” – George Bernard Shaw

“You don’t see things as they are. You see things as you are.” – the Talmud

On nothing being what we thought: “The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought. I can say that with great confidence. Emptiness is not what we thought. Neither is mindfulness or fear. Compassion – not what we thought. Love. Buddha nature. Courage. These are code words for things we don’t know in our minds, but any of us could experience them. These are words that point to what life really is when we let things fall apart and let ourselves be nailed to the present moment.” – Pema Chödrön in the chapter ‘Intimacy with Fear’ in When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times (1997)

“After extinction things will reappear in other forms, so you have to breathe very deeply in order to acknowledge the fact that we humans may disappear in just 100 years on earth. You have to learn how to accept that hard fact. You should not be overwhelmed by despair. The solution is to learn how to touch eternity in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh: in 100 years there may be no more humans on planet earth (from this article)

** Quotations/postings about gratitude here

** Quotations about truth here

** Quotations/postings about walking here