Gracious Gratitude
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Gracious Gratitude

Day 344

Gifts of Nature

Timing is important. Really important. That is truth for most all things, really. It’s especially true when you’re trying to grow things in one of the more inhospitable climates for doing so.

When I moved into my house here a few years ago, what I saw was potential. Contractor friends of mine saw a disaster — one even suggesting that he might not let me move in. Several deep cleanings, a few coats of paint and a lot of love later, it began to settle in. Still, though, it felt temporary. There even were a few still unpacked moving boxes.

Something a bit more than a year ago I began a serious contemplation of what I was doing. More importantly I contemplated where I was doing it.

Stay. Go. Stay. Go. Stay. Go.

If I go, where to?

If I stay … well, that meant commitment … and historically that’s not been something with which I’m altogether comfortable. In anything, really.

A series of events —conversations, experiences and people — nudged me forward. Step by step I began to shift from go … to stay.

I’ll skip some of the longer bits of the story but come fall of 2017 my decision to stay was firm. Winter had me embracing the city and our new hockey team with zeal. As the weather warmed, though hockey season continued, suddenly it came to me.

It was time to set down roots … literally.

So I did.

Off to Star Nursery on a series of days — wandering aisles, searching online, talking with various landscapers and the knowledgable folks at the nursery. I’ve never had a garden before. In fact, I’ve never really been much good at growing things. I realize now that my awkward fumblings in the past were likely a more literal metaphor for the deeper conflict I felt about setting down roots.

Since I’m a novice I began small — a handful of Star Jasmine plants along the back wall; a small area where I tossed down seeds for Dill, Cilantro and Sunflowers (the growth of which has been well documented here already); and out in front of the house … a small Texas Sage plant and Texas Privet.

The latter of that last item has been having a hard time — crippled by my ham handed watering and ill conceived irrigation. Thankfully, though, it’s not a goner and is just taking patience and time to regroup. I’m hopeful it will burst when the heat abates a bit and perhaps even blossom in the cooler warmth of fall. The Texas Sage was small, fit in my hand when I planted it. Over the months it’s begun to expand and reach for the sun, and today when I walked out to do the morning watering, sprinkled across its soft gray green leaves — a handful of deep, rich purple flowers.

Nothing like starting one’s day being smiled at by a plant.

Today’s Gracious Gratitude. I am grateful for:

  • Watching things grow
  • Saturating in patience (for some things)
  • Having cereal for dinner and being okay with that
  • My client’s dog surviving a coyote attack
  • Being able to be present for someone going through monumental grief and sitting with them in the pain so they know they’re not alone
  • My dogs
  • Realizing that even though I didn’t get anything checked off the to do list today I still got a monumental amount done
  • Going to bed early
  • Having a super comfy bed




There are studies that show a simple practice of gratitude awareness can be a real game changer for productivity.

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Cathy Brooks

Cathy Brooks

Raconteur and Silicon Valley expat who’s gone to the dogs … literally. Read more here

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