Joy and Gratitude

Lots of snow and low temps gave me a day off!

Today is a gift. It is Monday. The weekend went by so fast. My to-do list was mostly still undone Sunday night and I was giving up. Accepting that I was about to have another week of scrambling from one thing to the next, I noticed my phone buzzing. My employer cancelled Monday due to the weather. Glory!

A gift of time. So precious. I slept well, I did some more of my to-do list, I relaxed, I bundled up and walked a satisfying long walk. It was 5 or 10 degrees above zero, Farenheit: no problem. Parts of the trail had no tracks yet in the fresh snow. I experienced the simple joy of re-establishing the trail. Making my mark on that blank white canvas.

Blank white canvas of fresh snow waiting for tracks.

I was enjoying being outside, taking photos of plants, noticing the crisp air, the sounds, the absence of wind, the sunshine. My thoughts turned to gratitude to God for creating this world and all the people in it. Why are more people not out here enjoying this? The next thought that popped into my head hit me hard: I am extremely lucky. I can go back inside whenever I want. There are people outside today not by choice. Many of them probably do not have warm coats, hats, mittens, and boots. The snow, the plants, and the crisp air are not so magical to them.

Thistles. Complex. Prickly.

So. Now what? How can I continue to relish this glorious day knowing that suffering exists? Am I obligated to feel some guilt at my good fotune? Good questions. Good questions are often answered with other questions. Is it a fact that I felt joy being outside? Yes. Is that bad? No. Is it a fact that I am aware of the suffering of others? Yes. Is it bad to ignore the suffering of others? Yes. Is it within my power to aid those who are suffering? Yes.

I often pray as I walk. I believe that these thoughts are part of the prayer conversation. Looks like my next questions are How? and To what extent?

What am I adding to my to-do list now?