Saturday Morning Spells

Sunrays 1288

There is something so enchanting about the first morning light. As darkness relents to the rising sun the whole world is aglow for just a few moments. Light filters through trees, like a mystical omen of the magic to come. The world seems to warm. It’s only meant for a few. It’s too easy to miss, to sleep through.

During this time, in the summer months anyway – of which there are at least six here in middle Florida – the ground begins to make noise. Fallen leaves rustle, rocks are pushed out of the way by tiny reptilian feet. Most birds are still rubbing the sleep from their eyes, but a few start to chirp a little lazily.

There is one that seems to sit just outside my bedroom window whose sole purpose is to let me know the sun is about to come up. In an hour. He panics, I think.

Once the day begins to brighten and the sun makes its way to a visible point, the rest of the avian world begins to come alive. Two mourning doves coo sweet nothings on my fence. At times they roam around the floor of my tiny backyard looking for morsels. So at home, they wait until the very last minute to fly off in a huff when the hounds are released for their morning routines.

It is Saturday. The usual humming of car motors, the rise and fall of garage doors and the air brakes of the school bus are all absent. In their place is silence; the background on which all other sounds can be heard more clearly. A wind chime from two doors down announces a gentle breeze, a dog barks in the distance and beside me a cat works a catnip filled toy, causing the tiny bell on her collar to sing with excitement.

It’s too early and not enough hot yet for the summer bugs to begin singing. I don’t know what they are, some sort of cicada maybe, but I love their song. Or more probably, what it represents, and the fond memories of fleeting summers where there were three other seasons.

In an hour or so, the light will be different, more common. The sweet sounds against the quiet background will be lost to activity. The morning will be just a memory soon forgotten as the day picks up speed.

But later, much later – although it will be here before we know it – will be dusk. That golden hour when the sun, knowing it’s time is short, will flame out spectacularly providing the perfect light for a few fleeting moments before bidding adieu.

Yet there is still light, even after the sun slips below the horizon. As the creatures of the earth honor the rising sun each morning, it is the sun itself that celebrates the end of its workday with an explosion of colors that dance within the clouds.

I wonder what colors the sky will celebrate this evening.

[Photo: Allison L. Andersen. Taken at the Amrit Yoga Institute, Salt Springs, Florida.]

21 Day Challenge – Day 12 – Gratitude

birdy IMG_1892As I selected my cart at Whole Foods today I did not expect to find a passenger. I was making my way up and down the aisles when I noticed a little movement on the outside of the top basket. A lizard. He was moving a little slower in the cooler temperatures of the store but was able to make his way to the handlebar where he looked at me perplexed and asked to be taken outside. I obliged. As I exited with unpaid merchandise I walked about six feet toward a grassy area. Before I got there he jumped off. Warmed by the 90 degree November sunshine he was once again feeling frisky. I watched to be sure he made it to safety lest some unsuspecting human find him beneath their shoe. He made to the grass, he’ll have to take it from there.

It is in these moments that I find complete gratitude. The dragonfly landing on my dress. A squirrel frozen not 3 feet in front of me because we surprised each other. Deer wandering in my suburban neighborhood. A bird peeking down at me from the porch roof. The wind.

It is the first of November, the official month of gratitude.

I am grateful for all the people in my life. The fun ones, the encouraging ones, the humorous ones, the spiritual ones, the loving ones, the kind ones. And the mean ones, the rude ones, the whiny ones and the sarcastic ones.  The button pushers and naysayers. Oh I think I am most grateful for those last two.

The button pushers allow me to learn more about myself. Because it’s not them, it’s me. It’s my button. If I were to pay very close attention I could probably find the thread that connected the various pushers to the specific button. Once I identify the button I can work to eliminate it.  Another person cannot make me feel or act a certain way without my permission. If a person drives me crazy, I am the one behind the wheel. They are my teacher. And I have much to learn. And for that I am grateful.

The naysayers show me the holes in my theories, they show me their vulnerabilities which are merely mirrors of my own. If they believe I can’t do something it is most likely because they don’t believe they could. They need me to succeed so they can see the possibilities for themselves. I owe them my successes. And my gratitude.

Each person we encounter that we have any kind of reaction to, good or bad, is a mirror. The perceived negative reaction lets us know exactly what we need to work on. The perceived positive reaction shows us our magnificence in another. We cannot see in others that which we do not possess. If I walk by 100 people and don’t react to them, they have nothing to share with  me. But that one person that cuts me off in traffic when I am in a hurry has the lesson.

Once I was aware of this, life became considerably more interesting. It became impossible for me to blame others for anything, instead I had to own my reactions and what I believed to be my shortcomings . A confrontation or a reaction was now the gift. Or rather the gift was somewhere in it. If I missed it, it would be back.

Gratitude is a portal. Once stepped through the magic in the mundane is revealed. Colors become more vibrant.  The sound of people laughing overcomes the noise of those complaining. The one beautiful flower among the weeds comes into focus.

So on this first official day of Gratitude Season I say Thank You. To everyone. For everything.

[Photo: My bird friend that was perched on the roof line of my patio.]