On our day of ratting around today, we stopped at a local farmer’s market. Apples! Of all kinds, but especially McIntosh apples with their perfect tartness for cooking. Grateful for the simple goodness of the harvest, especially when it results in an Apple Cobbler!
So, we visit the new home site tonight, and the one thing I notice is this little stubborn patch of grass in a sea of red clay — baked red clay, by the way, because there’s been no real rain for a while.
And I’m grateful for not only the tenacity of this scrubby, weedy grass, but also for its resilience and perseverance. There’s a life lesson in its will to grow and thrive, to put down roots where life is sometimes inhospitable, to seek nurturing from any willing source, however small or stingy, and to thrive without rancor for its situation in life.
Death Valley, California. Inhospitable. Barren. Hot. Dry. Monochrome.
Maybe at first sight, but soon you realize there is beauty there, tucked into crevices, in patches of green where the underground river nears the surface, in the subtle shading of rocks crumbling into sand, under an impossibly blue sky, in the brilliance of a wildflower, in the paintbox of oxidizing mica in the rocks of Artist’s Drive.
Grateful for the opportunity to fine tune my eyes to see beauty in a place where beauty, on the surface, appears scarce. Oh, but it’s there. And when your eyes adjust enough to notice, you discover it’s everywhere around you.
Our local McDonald’s is engulfed in renovation; there are trucks and porta potties, workers in neon, scaffolding soaring high toward the roof, plastic and, yes, a sign that says, “Drive Through Open.” So we drove through, dodging workers and barricades. No menu in the drivethrough, just a lonely speaker attached to a cord that wound its way back inside the building. The window? Still there, but an employee dodging flakes of drywall as workers sanded above ferried our money to the window. The drink delivery? The same, except an employee carefully covered and brought our order from the window to our car. I’m struck by the dedication of these employees and this location to serving its clientele. Grateful for the small town where we will move in a month or two. I like their attitude.
So I head into work this morning. The sky’s a beautiful blue with white puffy clouds, the air crisp with the coolness of a September morning. In the elevator are co-workers from various offices; I know none of them well. The prevailing conversation? How crappy it is to start another gloomy week at work. I wonder briefly if it’s because the elevator has no window to the beautiful day outside, but realize it’s due to the attitude each of us walks in with and carries throughout the day. I know that I can carry that blue sky attitude all day long or allow the gloomy windowless elevator attitude to prevail. Grateful — I am so grateful — for this knowledge of choice, because it allows me to make of my day a heaven, not a hell.
It’s amazing what you’ll find on the golf course, and it’s easier when you’re just riding along and observing rather than playing. There’s beauty everywhere; you just have to look — generally with eyes that aren’t following a little white ball. Grateful for these mornings spent on the golf course with Charlie. They offer me a couple of hours to empty my mind and simply notice what’s around me.