Thanksgiving...a day set aside in the United States to cook and feast with friends and family. It's also a day to stop and notice the bounty we are given on a daily basis, but often miss in the cacophony of life's busyness. On this day of gratitude, I invite you to spend a few minutes to binge on this calorie-free smorgasboard of natural beauty and thanks lovingly captured by film maker, Louie Schwartzberg. I promise your heart will be filled with a bit more gratitude by the time you finish watching....Happy Thanksgiving. (click here to view Gratitude by Louie Schwartzberg)


Thank you to one of my readers, Dee, for "re-Minding" me of this lovely poem by Mary Oliver. So perfect for our month of Mindful Moments


by Mary Oliver
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

"Mindful" by Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early. © Beacon Press, 2005. Reprinted with permission.

The Familiar Becomes the Unfamiliar and the Unfamiliar Becomes the Familiar

We have been closing up the family cottage for the winter this week.  The familiar now somehow unfamiliar or perhaps is it the unfamiliar now somehow familiar?  The sounds of summer have receded; replaced by the sounds of autumn; the sounds of silence.  But it is more than sounds that make the familiar is all the senses converging that creates this new place within the familiar space.  The lake now quiet and smooth as glass, pine cones dropping from tall pines nudged off their branches by industrious squirrels, leaves turning to crimson and gold and fluttering downward on the breeze, the air somehow different.  Perhaps it is the pungent scent of mulching leaves, the mist that remains on the surface of the lake late into the morning, the blackness of the earth, or the hint of smoke from a fireplace that reminds me that nothing remains the same, that we are always in flux...even in the most familiar of surroundings.  Season to season, year to year, the familiar becomes the unfamiliar and the unfamiliar becomes the familiar.

Kaleidoscopes in Unexpected Places

Kaleidoscope: derived from Ancient Greek; kalos (meaning beauty, beautiful) + eidos (meaning form, shape) + skopeo (meaning to observe, consider, examine)

Kaleidoscopes are all about perceiving the world differently; observing beautiful forms in everyday objects or places. I recently learned that they can also be found in the most unexpected places. 

The photo to the right, is one of several in an exhibit entitled, Kaleidoscope by Artists for Humanity; a public installation in Terminal C at Logan International Airport in Boston.  As I waited in the terminal to bid my youngest daughter, Jen, goodbye as she returned to college after winter break; to my left were the TSA screening checkpoints with a long queue of tired and harried-looking passengers and to my right were these stunning kaleidoscopic images of nature and beauty. How many of the people in line turned their heads and saw these photos of serenity amidst the chaos and aggravation of a full body scan? I don't know, but my guess is not many. 

My resolution this year is to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary by taking some time to turn my head and look at the world through the lens of a kaleidoscope...the same world just perceived differently.