What a dreary morning!  We awoke today to one of those mornings where the temperature outside is just a hair above freezing and the drizzle that falls can’t decide whether to create an icy sidewalk or melt the lingering snow.  ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘I certainly won’t be hurrying out to take any pictures that might preserve this moment.’

Have you ever had one of those mornings where it seems like a good idea to pull the covers close, hide your face in the pillow and will the day away?  I’ve heard of people who are able to do that; but, as my mother can tell you — Hi, Mom! — I’ve always had trouble sleeping past the crack of dawn.  My only choice was to get out of bed and face the dismal day.

As I pulled on my sneakers, my toe reminded me that I’d stubbed it yesterday; and I played around with my sock and shoe until I could walk without too much discomfort.  I headed to the kitchen to pack lunches and get ready for breakfast, and was greeted by the pans I’d left in the sink last night in favor of watching the Olympics.  It seemed like a good idea at the time, but washing dishes is not high on my list of favorite ways to start my day.  I rolled up my sleeves and walked across the cold kitchen to face my choice of the previous day.  As I started to run a dishpan full of hot water, it struck me that I was developing and even fine-tuning an attitude that was quickly making me feel singled out for misery.

I looked at the dirty dishes and remembered the delicious meal we enjoyed only twelve hours ago.  I felt the warm water on my hands and realized what a blessing it is just to have running water available at the twist of a faucet; and mine came already heated.  I thought of the way I would soon be moving the food — fresh and leftover — around the refrigerator shelves as I gathered what I needed to create meals for my family.  I took a minute to think about the almost-frozen rain and how cold it was outside.  Then I looked up and saw the roof over my head and the house all around me, keeping me dry and warm and protecting me from the wet world outside.  As I finished washing the last pan, I walked to the back door, opened it, and stuck my arm out into the rain.  I thought of how this gentle rain was soaking into the thawing earth and building the supply of water that later would flow from our pipes and into our home; and I thought of how I’d wanted to wish it away.

It was then that I decided to trade in my Attitude and focus on Gratitude.  When you look at the world through grateful eyes, all you can see is abundance — everywhere you look.  My toe hurts a little; but knowing that my nerves are working is reassuring to me as I work daily at balancing my blood sugar.  There are dishes to be washed because we suffer from an abundance of food.  Every bit of life can be seen as a curse or as a blessing — the choice is ours.  Life is such an amazing gift!  Today I will choose Gratitude over Attitude and enjoy the abundance.

Gratitude

Gratitude lay simmering

Beneath the surface of my day.

My eyes awoke to dismal skies

And wished the chilly rain away.

Where is the sun? Would it be too much

To ask for a balmy summer day?

For light and warmth to call me forth

To love the breaking of the day?

Cold as the rain, I hardened my heart

And crawled inside my own despair,

Pulled my head inside my shell

And locked the door that kept me there.

Once inside, I heard the sound,

Faint at first, but ever growing,

Bubbling up until it boiled;

And gratitude came overflowing.

I saw the roof above my head

And heard the music of the rain.

I loved the cozy warmth of home

And heart-fire eased my chill again.

Try as I might to curl up tight,

I ventured out to greet the day;

And, filled with warmth of gratitude,

I saw things in a different way.

The rain-soaked roads had been washed clean.

The trees were glowing grateful green.

I reached beyond my windowpane

And touched, with thanks, the gentle rain.

© Pamela Stead Jones 2010