Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gratitude Glances

Gratitude Glances

Many years ago as a teenager, I read a book or an article in a magazine about looking for something to admire everyday that would make it worthwhile living up that day. In those days, life seemed endless and the days ahead of me stretched out into infinity. Still, I thought it was a nice thought and did it from time to time occasionally registering one scene that was spectacular in my journal.

In middle age, I began to do it more often and with more of an earnest application. I had already seen many friends that I used to have over the years make that final journey to the cemetery. I had narrowly escaped myself. Living up to a certain day began to mean more.

Looking for those gratitude glances, I used to wait for those sunsets that would light up the sky with many brilliant colors, trees with fantastic blossoms in a field of flowers under brilliant blue skies, bellowing clouds filled with power and awesome beauty that would life the hair off the arms. Now, it can be a single tree surrounded by the rough hew-like rocks of a cliff, the colors of green pine trees against a very blue lake high in the mountains, a perfect blossom alone against a abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere. Those scenes just come out and you look at them and know, your life was worth living up to that day for that one scene.

I have heard the saying that youth is wasted on the young. When I was younger, I never really understood that at all. Now that I am a retired old lady, I understand it only too well. Beauty was wasted on me as a young person too. The 'gratitude glances' have so much more meaning to me now than they did when I was younger. I have plenty of those scenes that I cherish in my mind such as my children playing in the yard in the evening among the fireflies as I sat out there watching them. I am so glad I took the time to do that. I also enjoy my grandchildren now.

It seems the scenes I see now are so much more inspiring and magnificent than ever because they are enriched with the memories of the past. If I watch a flock of birds fly over the railroad trestle under a setting sun, I am also reminded of the first memory I have in my life of the same trestle and I was just under 2 years old. I can throw amazement into that scene. I am very grateful to have lived this long to have seen that. Of course, I am grateful I woke up this morning. One day, I won't. Everyone living on this planet right now won't be here 100 years from now. That is a fact of life.

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