gratitude-a-thon day 2068: things that grow


I have been about things that grow lately. Switching over the summer plants that have just about had it, to the heartier bring-on-the-chill fall plants and saying my last goodbyes to my legions of hydrangeas, which left me with a house filled with gorgeous dried blooms.

I really love topiaries–their shape and simplicity.  I just scooped up a rosemary version–tall and stately at Brimfield of all places. Its stature is giving off a nice vibe in my den.

I must have pulled 1,000 weeds yesterday from my front garden. Weeds really know how to flourish. It’s like they’ve cornered the market on vitamins or something. Do they have a steroid supplier in the neighborhood?

Maybe it’s the world right now and our country in particular, with so many lies and so much ugliness that’s making things that grow feel so important to me.

Up from the dirt, things take root and make their way into being. Gratitude for the lessons the natural world teaches when we stop to look and listen to it. The idea that you can come back stronger with a little rest over the winter. Yeah, i like that.



gratitude-a-thon day 859: smell the rain


I am all about the sun. But sometimes I like rain. It’s not the wet that I like, because I find that annoying. It’s the smell.

Rain smells like the beach to me, like so many days on the Cape with my mom, when I’d blame her for the weather, but secretly enjoy the raucous waves and the smell of the sea. It brings me to the Vineyard when the sky was emptying buckets down, and the kids were complaining of boredom, and the days seemed endless, but the air smelled like a perfume I wish existed.

Today smells like that. Like so many moments that have already been, and the ocean, and the beauty of things that are simple.


gratitude-a-thon 175: nature’s lessons


A few weeks ago, during my bad weather-cation, my friend Colleen and I were sitting on the beach having our coffee, and we noticed two ant holes. I promise there wasn’t anything in our mugs except coffee, sugar and milk, but we got sort of mesmerized by these ants and their work ethic. Each one went into the hole and came back out carrying a piece of sand that sometimes looked bajillion times the size of their little bodies. It was a perfect dance of industry. Back and forth they traveled, as Colleen and I discussed their commitment and efficiency.

I was reminded of the movie Antz, which was one of my kid’s favorites. I was trying to describe it to Colleen and couldn’t remember the name (duh!) One of the big scenes is a little pep talk to the totalitarian society members. They are building something and all banding together in a ball, when one the head foreman says to the group, “Be the ball, “meaning, give in, go with it, commit.

I love that kind of “all in” effort, when people work together to achieve. But I also like the dreamers, the guys with another plan in mind, the rogue geniuses. As we watched the ants, it was clear that some would stray. I wondered if these were the creative bugs, the seekers, the Steve Jobsians, looking for a different sort of thing, or whether they simply lost their way.

As amazing as it was to see how these ants created these two new homes (which we humans could destroy in one footstep) it was even more amazing how captivated the two of us were watching a bit of nature up close and personal. It seemed such a microcosm of the world. And we both took aways some lessons. Gratitude for nature’s smallest moments. They’re all over the place, sometimes just below the surface, waiting to teach us whatever we’re willing to learn.