March 7, 2012

Natural Gratitude

Walking on the beach instills gratitude in me, especially this season, such a contrast to living on the East coast, living in Idaho, as I have done in the past. Every sunny day is a chance to renew my energy, store in my batteries, knowing that the rains are on the way out.

Living in Santa Cruz and being here in Point Reyes I am grateful for the cool crisp mornings, the warm afternoon, the mild evenings. I am always aware of the plants, from the red leaved tree with the pale green Spanish moss dripping from it just outside this window right now, to the enormous aloe veers in Santa Cruz, my friend Nikki from New York saying, "These are house plants!"

While we do not have the dramatic seasonal changes of new England, the seasons of California are distinct and subtle. I am aware in my garden of the winter blooms, the red hot pokers a good example, the California poppies announcing the return of spring.

 After driving through San Francisco to get here, being so aware of the concrete and asphalt, iron barred windows and the distinct lack of lawns, trees corralled into parks as the street lamps become the urban jungle, I am so grateful for the serene roads winding through the gentle hills, the soft light illuminating the greens and golds, the sheer amount of oxygen being released from the trees into my grateful lungs. We have seen a tiny mouse and a huge stag, countless ravens and other birds, their gentle presence a reminder that we share this earth, not just a roadway.

It was soothing walking along the beach yesterday, which stretched for miles and was so unpopulated. Grey seagulls clustered by the waters edge, the sand pipers busy doing their thing, cracked crab shells crunching under out feet. I appreciated the tug of the sand on my calves, the shifting sands, the chance to smell the ocean, the hope to see a whale. This expansive space, my expansive heart, filled with gratitude and a quiet joy.

Blessed be.