Creature of Joy

choose-joy-4

Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.
– Mary Baker Eddy

…joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy…
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

Today’s lesson…

“Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

So I’m out on my walk in Bellingham – there is much glorious autumnal color to be had – gold and ruby are dripping from the trees and forming arches over the paths. But there are people walking the paths, too – spaced in just such a way that as soon as one walker gets out of my camera’s view, another appears. I’m feeling frustrated by this. At this rate I’ll be waiting all day to get a people-less picture.

I smile at the walkers as they go by me, and they all smile back and wish me a good day. And finally! – the path is clear – I raise my camera to shoot a photo – and one more walker appears around the curve in the path. I lower my camera and wait. He’s moving at a steady pace. I smile at him as he approaches, and he smiles back. As explanation for why I’m still standing there – I point down the path to an arch of branches over the trail and tell him I want to take a photo of that. He smiles and agrees that it’s beautiful, and says that if you go further down the trail you’ll see more of those arches. I notice the cool earrings dangling from his ears and tell him how much I like them, and he says thank you. I ask him if I can take his picture and he tells me sure. I shake his hand and introduce myself, and he tells me his name is Todd. I have met a new friend.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Todd

And as I’m walking back down the trail, it occurs to me that God had been presenting me with gifts all morning – wonderful people who were walking the path with me. It took me awhile to realize and recognize Love’s largesse – but I’m happy to say, I finally got it. 🙂

A Simple and Unremarkable Perfection

It is a miracle of perfection.
I am warm and fed and I can hear
my loved one tapping the keys on his laptop
and clearing his throat
near me
I have chamomile tea with cream and a chunk of
sourdough bread and the wind is moving
the rain-splattered screen on the window
and making the lights behind it look like they’re dancing
I feel no pain or fear
I know I’m completely safe
and I imagine coming through some terrible danger
and finding myself in this room
and what a miracle that would seem to be
and how much I’d appreciate the simple unremarkable
perfection of it
and I am filled with gratitude

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Rainbow is Enough

Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Who needs a pot of gold? The rainbow is enough. 🙂

rainbow enough

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

While we’re waiting for the bountiful good to land on us… :)

 

Message to a friend –
But I guess while we’re waiting for the bountiful good to land on us, we can enjoy the quiet good that’s always fluttering around us, going unnoticed – ooh! That was good,
wasn’t it? Maybe I can use this in another Karen-photo-quote.
I know how much everyone loves those. 🙂

enjoy the good that's here

The Gift of Gratitude

In God I find a precious gift
That knows no fear, no feud,
That glows so still, serene and pure:
The gift of gratitude.
– Christian Science Hymnal, #146

Monday is my errand-running, photo-taking, take-time-to-create-something, walk-on-the-Bellingham-boardwalk day. It is a sacred day for me – the day I set aside every week to be an explorer, and an earth-tourist.  I am hugely grateful for the gift of Monday.

With confidence it hails each task,
With courage undismayed,
For naught against Infinity
Can ever be arrayed.
– Christian Science Hymnal, #`146

I had a boatload to accomplish yesterday – needed to prepare readings for Wednesday night, mark my books for Thanksgiving, and choose hymns for Wednesday, Thanksgiving and the Sunday morning church services; had photos and writing I needed to print; books and packages that needed to be mailed;  food for Thanksgiving that needed to be picked up; and a Thanksgiving service that needed to be rehearsed. When I looked at all that needed to be done, I was a little overwhelmed. But, taking each thing one at a time, step-by-step, trusting in God, Love, I was able to get the bulk of it done by noon.

The oldest son is home from university, and at noon – just about the time I’d finished getting most of my to-do list done – asked me if I was planning to go up to Bellingham for my walk. I told him I was, and asked him if he’d like to join me. Within the hour both my sons had joined me for an expedition to Bellingham’s Boulevard Park.

It was good to be all together again – good to hear the rascally sons laughing with each other again, wonderful to be able to sit down together at Mambo’s Italian Restaurant, eating pizza and calzones, and talking about books we’re reading, plans for the future, good memories from the past. It was just good to be in the same space and time together.

So much good! Family and friends, home, satisfying work, endless opportunities to give and share and love…

I am enjoying the moments of Life. Right now. I’m not going to wait for Thanksgiving to be grateful. The gift of gratitude is one gift we don’t need to wait to open. 🙂

Thank you, Life!

In seamless gratitude I weave
A silent, healing prayer,
With shining threads of ceaseless joy;
For man is God’s great heir.

– Christian Science Hymnal, #`146 

Thanksgiving: “What a Wonderful World”

A grateful heart a garden is,

Where there is always room

For every lovely, Godlike grace

To come to perfect bloom…

 

As we began planning for Thanksgiving, we realized that, due to scheduling conflicts and human limitations of time and space (we haven’t yet overcome the belief that we can’t be two places at once, but we’re working on it – we’ll keep you posted) we wouldn’t be able to celebrate Thanksgiving in our home on Thursday. We decided to move it up to today. And it feels right. Even though we may still be trying to overcome limitations of time and space, we have no limits to the time and space wherein to express our thankfulness.  Today is as good a day as any day.

And today I am brimming over with gratitude for all the good in my life: The sons are home from university and we’ve spent the last couple days watching our favorite movies together, laughing and sharing our latest news with each other – it’s good to hear their male laughter again; my husband and I are both gainfully employed in work that brings us satisfaction and contributes in a positive way to the world; we have food in the pantry and a roof over our heads. We have so much to be thankful for!

 

A grateful heart a fortress is,

A staunch and rugged tower,

Where God’s omnipotence, revealed,

Girds man with mighty power…

A year ago, things seemed a little bleak for me, professionally…. or they might have seemed bleak to an outsider looking “in.” But from the inside-out, I was entering a journey that I found wonderfully exhilarating and freeing.  I had no idea where it would take me, and couldn’t have possibly guessed that in a year I’d be working where I’m working today.  Today I am in the best gig I’ve ever had in my life.  Get this! – during the course of one day last week one of my high school students brought me a big beautiful bouquet of tulips; another let me hold and croon to her infant while she worked on her Social Studies – and, as I’m sure you know, there is nothing more comforting than the feel of a warm baby nestled under one’s chin; and a third told me she’d been looking forward to me reading the story of Pegasus to her and asked me if I would please read to her the last ten minutes of our session together. Yes, it’s true! – I’m actually working at a job where I get to help students with their schoolwork, read to them, and help guide them into adulthood – and how cool is that?!

Had I not stepped over the brink and trusted that God, Good, had a place prepared for me, I wouldn’t be where I am today…

As I wait for the sweet potatoes to boil to perfect softness, I am listening to Louis Armstrong work his magic on my CD player.  Louie’s What a Wonderful World is on – sweet and beautiful – thanksgiving in music:

The colors of the rainbow,

so pretty in the sky

are also on the faces

of people going by,

I see friends shaking hands,

Saying, “How do you do?”

They’re really saying,

“I love you”….

And I think to myself,

 what a wonderful world! 

Okay, time to go whip up some sweet potatoes.

And this year I’m going to remember to get the rolls out of the oven, too… 🙂

Wishing you all a most wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family – may you and yours be enveloped in laughter and love sublime!

A grateful heart a temple is,

A shrine so pure and white,

Where angels of His presence keep

Calm watch by day or night.

Grant then, dear Father-Mother, God,

Whatever else befall,

This largess of a grateful heart

That loves and blesses all.

-Edith Wasgatt Dennis