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Absolutely Grateful For A Wonderful New Day — Photos

Spoiler Alert — I’m Not Really There Yet, But I’m Working On It

© 2018 Elle Fredine
“Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.” — Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Today dawned after I’d been working for several hours. No, I haven’t suddenly decided to rise at four or five in the morning. I live in the north.

And we have reached the point in our seasons, here, in the frozen north, when we will steadily lose the light until spring —

© 2018 Elle Fredine: The view from my front door at six-thirty

Well, the light will return and our days begin to lengthen again, a few precious seconds per day. We’ll notice more light, and lengthening days come February. But spring is still a long way off from one of our coldest months.

However, I was up well before seven, and the sun wasn’t. It’s still very dark here at six-thirty.

Once it was fully light, sometime after eight, a world of frost and ice-fog greeted me.

The view was as ethereal and enchanting as it was chilly, I discovered, when I poked my nose out to drag the recycle bin to the curb. Though, I realize some of you may not feel this view (above) is enchanting. The slightly grainy quality is caused by the ice-fog lingering in the air. Brr. It’s enough to make you pack up and ship out to Mexico.

© 2018 Elle Fredine

The feathered flock feasting in the bushes next door are making short work of the frozen Mountain Ash berries.The constant chirping and restless fluttering reminds me they, too, will be moving on soon.

I do not love winter anymore. My days of frolicking in the white drifts building forts and making snow-angels are sadly behind me.

I still do, but I find some days the worst of getting down in the snow to play, is getting back up. Well, I suppose it come to us all. Eventually.

But I have a childhood’s worth of happy memories of winters-past.

Memories of Aklavik, and playing outside one Christmas Day when the temperature had dipped to minus sixty-degrees below zero. We were only outside for a few hours and bundled up to the eyebrows, in our heavy parkas, mukluks, scarves and mittens. But we had fun and I’m sure our parents appreciated the respite from our high-spirits.

Today, though, the world is a magical, if slightly dangerous place. Hoar frost graces trees and railings. Ice crystals sparkle on posts and railings. A skim of ice has turn my front porch stairs into a semi-vertical skating hazard.

Even though I’m not looking forward to making the the trek uptown this afternoon, clomping and sliding along the well-polished streets, I will make it to the post office and back. Eventually.

Which brings me to the “gratitude” part of this…

I wasn’t feeling particularly grateful for much of anything this morning.

I went through my morning routine, or went through the motions, anyway. Nothing was really wrong. Nothing terrible had happened overnight. But nothing had changed, either.

And that was the big problem. I was facing another day of struggle. Another day of convincing myself not to give up. Another day of grinding away.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not feeling depressed. Actually, I feel pretty good. And, I get to spend my day writing and creating, which is pretty close to heaven on toast.

But Something Was Missing

As I stared out my window at the growing light, I finally realized what was wrong — the thing that was missing… gratitudeGratitude for another day — even one full of ice and snow. Gratitude for being alive, for the wonderful people in my life, for the not-so-wonderful parts of my life that teach me how to be a better person.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Joy And Gratitude Go Together

I can always tell when my life’s getting out of whack. I’m going along, doing what needs to be done. Everything’s okay, but there’s no joy. And how can I truly experience joy without first feeling gratitude?

I find the two emotions are inextricably linked, at least for me. When I feel joy for something that happens, I am immediately grateful. And once I find something for which I am grateful, I immediately feel joy — joy for the moment, for what happened. Joy which must be shared.

Think about it… When something great, or funny, or fantastical happens, what’s the first thing you do. Okay, what do you do after you laugh, or gasp, or dance around the room. You reach out to someone else, to share your joy.

You share the happy-dance.

The simple truth is, the more we open our hearts to gratitude, the more we will find true joy. Joy in sharing and loving. Joy in living with a grateful heart.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” — A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh”

So I Will Be Grateful For My Wintry, Chilly Day

I will don my heavy parka and my clomping boots, and be grateful be able to walk uptown. I know I’ll meet up with some friends, and we’ll all share our thoughts on the weather, as we do every year at this time while waiting in line at the post office.

Most of all, I will be grateful to be able to do something I love and for the opportunity to share today with all of you. Even if we’d really rather be on a beach in Mexico — at least for a little while.

© 2018 Elle Fredine