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An incredibly beautiful morning brought me a surprise gift of gratitude.

There are the usual things to be grateful for: this roof over my head, good nourishing food, family and friends.  I can choose gratitude, and choosing to be thankful can certainly shift a negative focus.  Sometimes, though, I am surprised into gratitude and truly astonished by the bounty of this life.

A sudden burst of light, a moment of laughter that makes me glad to be alive, a surge of unexpected thankfulness in the harshest of conditions. Maybe a moment of forgiveness, or letting go… You know those moments in life when you are suddenly surprised with joy?  Yes, like that.

Here is how gratitude happened to me this morning:

The first real freeze arrived here last night, and the morning is icy cold. The sky is bright blue, and the sun shivers off the frost on the grass.  I bundle up in my heavy down coat (yes, add that old worn coat to my gratitude list)  and the dawg and I head out into the cold.

My mind is noisy, busy thinking of all the things I need to take care of and other  miscellaneous (probably irrelevant) thoughts.  I turn off the road to take the trail down into the forest. Then –

A quick intake of breath, followed by an audible “wow!”   My mind is startled into silence.  Even the dog stops. Sun filters through the trees frosting the path with light. All around me falling leaves whisper, moisture drips steadily from the trees.  Everything falls quiet, my mind settles back, and I am present, really present.

A surprising gift of pure gratitude.

morning lightYes, Like That.

Is there something you are surprised to be grateful for?  or that surprises you into gratitude?