Last week there was an article in the Sunday New York Times about how being grateful makes you happier.  The science is lining up with what we know to be true.  When we express gratitude we connect more deeply with our environment.  It is impossible to be self-centered and grouchy when you are telling someone how much they mean to you.  But this practice also works in small invisible ways when we are grateful for the littlest of things;  A cup of coffee, a roof over our heads.  Who says these things are little, anyway?

This activity gives rise to empathy as we experience for ourselves the mental shifts that occur. We are able to see that for all humans a simple shift towards gratitude starts a movement away from our evolutionarily programmed hyper-self-protecting vigilance (where is that lion?) toward the possibility of an ease and sense of harmony with what is.

What is…. it’s whatever is right in front of us.  Our busy schedules….gratitude.  Family mishegoss….gratitude.   Sweet potatoes….gratitude.

Playing the music I love with friends and for friends whose listening becomes part of the music!  Gratitude.

Pied Beauty

 Glory be to God for dappled things —
  For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
    For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
  Landscape plotted and pieced — fold, fallow, and plough;
    And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
  Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                Praise him.
“Pied Beauty”
Gerald Manley Hopkins
written 1877