Today is a beautiful day, and it's Thursday, which means the week is more than halfway over. Even though I am enjoying the beautiful blue sky outside my window and feeling happy to be alive, I feel the need for some grace. Something just doesn't feel quite right. So I am offering up these heartfelt feelings of gratefulness today.
1. I'm grateful for sore muscles that mean I am getting stronger. I love being mildly sore the day after working out - I feel like it's an almost instantaneous reminder that I've done something to make myself healthier.
2. My garden provides me with exercise, food, beauty, and a little slice of nature that is all my own, right in the middle of a community of people who more or less feel the same way I do. My husband knows even better than I do - when I'm in a bad mood, he always suggests I go out to the garden. What a smart guy.
3. There is a little tea shop in town, a relatively reasonable walking distance from my office, and I sometimes stop by when I have to go to our other building for a meeting. The last time I went, I found a packet of chocolate hazelnut tea. How brilliant! I don't know who thought of that particular flavor for tea, but it's delicious.
4. Spring comes relatively early where I live - while this isn't so great for planting things like peas, it is great for flowers. When I got back from Italy a few weeks ago, the trees were already in bloom, like they were welcoming me home. The flower bulbs I planted in the yard two years ago are blooming, tiny little white-blue flowers like little stars in the grass. I will miss my flowers if and when I move.
5. I love growing my own food, but just as much I love preserving it, for a variety of reasons. I love opening my cupboards and seeing rows of beautiful colors in clear glass jars - ruby red strawberry jam, golden yellow peaches, green pickles and zucchini, bright red tomato sauce and tomato juice. I like knowing that I was self-sufficient, that I planned ahead, and that I followed in the footsteps of so many women who came before me. And I especially love how it all tastes.
OK, I feel better now.