Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Path of Gratitude

I love this picture, despite it being slightly blurry. To me, it looks like the trees are reaching across the path to hold hands (or roots). I could go back and try to take it again, but it would be a different picture since some of the leaves will have fallen and lighting may be a little altered. I'm not good at remembering to take pictures because most of them get stored in my head anyway. It's nice to have a medium to share some scenes with others though.

The trees are really putting on a show this year. The reds and oranges are out in full force, accented by lovely yellows and fading greens. I really have to make good on my promise to myself to head up to Harriman Park for some picture taking this week. It's hard to get there after work since it gets dark so much earlier now, but maybe if I took my hiking boots with me I could make it in time.

I've been satisfying my need for nature with the Environmental Center in Wyckoff in the meantime. Three times I've been out there now towards the end of the day, and although the trails aren't much more than short footpaths, the scenery is pretty, the animals are friendly, and I have a favorite bench with a good view from which to record thoughts on the Mac.

I've had a couple people stop on the path and mention with amusement how out of place the laptop looks. They ask if I have Net access, which I don't. I think it's funny that they assume that's the only thing I might be doing on the computer. I wonder if it's a reflection of their own habits or a conjecture due to my age. It does feel a bit strange to be tapping away on a keyboard and have to brush aside the occasional leaf or bug, but it goes so much faster than longhand with less cramping in the palm. Technology rocks.

The deer don't seem bothered at all by my presence. They come within 10 feet and watch me giggle while they thoughtfully crunch on an acorn or three. They have very funny chewing movements. I'm almost sure if I remembered to bring some hazelnuts, the chipmunks might come right up on the bench and sit with me. I love watching their little racing stripes streak by and disappear into a hole I couldn't even tell was under the leaves. I can't imagine how they remember where all the holes are.

I can always find things to be thankful for, but there are days when I'm paying the Universe lip service, and then there are days I'm really feeling it. Today I was immersed in genuine gratitude. Everything that came to mind made me feel huge appreciation for whatever the thought of the moment was. I can't explain it in words. I wouldn't quite say I felt connected, but it was something on that level.

On my drive to work this morning all I could think about was how grateful I was to have such a gorgeous drive to take every day. It's only 15 minutes, but it's wonderful to be in the car alone with the sun bouncing off leaves and flowers, music playing and fresh air rushing in the windows. I take the back way because it's pretty, and by luck it's a couple miles shorter. The pace is slower which can be a detriment since I'm one of those people that is always late, but I'll take that over the highway any day.

Huh. I'm so tired I can't even think of what else I wanted to say. Guess I'll say goodnight then and get some sleep. One of these days I'll remember to get a handheld recorder to capture the more interesting things I think in the car.