Tuesday, April 6, 2010

When A Short Walk Just Isn't A Stroll

With all the newness about us as spring unveils herself to us, what better time to take what I like to call a Gratitude Walk. Many of us take gratitude walks and don’t even realize it. A gratitude walk is when you take a walk yet at the same time you pay attention to your surroundings. You open yourself to the sites and the sounds… the smells and the sensations. You acknowledge the simple things that all too often are allowed to go unnoticed, unexperienced, unenjoyed.

As you acknowledge the many things that will come to your attention take note of those things that bring pleasure or a smile to your face. In turn say a quick thank you for the moment recognizing the small gift that was just given to you. Stop and smell that beautiful peonies that blooms in that radiant shade of red. Enjoy its fragrant aroma that only it can give. Or maybe it’s the local bakery that tickles your nose more. The smell of fresh baked bread or maybe a freshly glazed cinnamon roll. Listen to the sound of the mockingbird as you stroll past the small maple tree that it has claimed as its home. As you get closer you realize that it is not a song he sings yet a warning to steer clear of his territory. A smile crosses your face at his fierceness and tenacity to keep intruders from what he sees as his.

A gratitude walk can be taken anywhere. Examples: A walk in your local park, where one can admire the budding trees and the flowers that are blooming. The sound of playful children and the many birds that enjoy the abundant possibility for food or a home. The smell of the nearby popcorn stand where freshly buttered popcorn can be purchased if one so desires.

Maybe you would prefer a walk in a more intimate area such as a nearby wooded area. The sound of the small stream as it flows over the rocks at the bottom of the clear water. The majesty of the towering trees that sit at its edge and shade you as you stroll down a narrow well worn path. The flash of color seen as the bluebird soars past you looking for its morning feed. The many opportunities to experience true nature.

If a long walk is not necessarily something that you have time for, a simple jaunt out your front door and across the yard to pick up the daily mail can be a gratitude walk in itself. Each moment is different, filled with a new activity and occurrence. Who knows what newness you may come across just by stepping out into your yard?

I myself often take several strolls across my yard in one day. Now I do this a bit more often as I now take Winston out to do his business. Yet even before then I enjoyed taking my daily gratitude walk. This time of year has been exceptionally fun as of late. It seems that you can almost see the flowers bloom and the leaves on the trees emerge. Being the lover of birds that I am, a sighting never ceases to amaze me.  During my walks is also when I snap many of my photographs of nature.  I recently posted a few of my Roses over at My Photography Site .  Check them out is you want.

Yesterday I saved a small cow bird from the clutches of my cat Sunny, who sees himself as the great hunter. He grabs them so gently that if I manage to get to him quickly, I can usually save them. Today I took the bird carefully from Sonny’s mouth and held it to verify that it was ok. I was sure to convey the message that it should be more aware of how Sonny was and to be more careful next time. Then I release my hold. He perched on my fingers for a few moments keeping his eye on me the whole time. Then he flew to return to where he came from. It was a special moment indeed.

The next time you have the opportunity to take a short stroll or maybe even a long hike, take a few extra moments to look around at what surrounds you. Take notice of the many sounds you hear in the air. Draw in a deep breath through your nose and allow the smells to penetrate your nostrils. If you are lucky enough to be somewhere where you have the opportunity to taste your surroundings by all means indulge a little and pick that fresh strawberry as it lies on the ground all plump and red. There are things to be grateful for all around. Even the people that surround you can sometimes go unnoticed although they are there every day. Maybe a brisk gratitude walk is just what you need. Blessings to you.


mxtodis123 said...

Good morning. I'm so glad you were able to save that little birdie. I once saved a robin who survived for a year. He was deformed and his mother pushed him out of the nest, so poor little thing was squawking in my back yard. They all attacked me when I went out to grab him. The little thing got to know me and would get all excited when I entered the room.

the wild magnolia said...

Very encouraging post in recognition of gratitude.

Every suggestion you made is a simple, no cost involved, idea to enrich our lives and be blessed with fresh air and beauty.

Saving birds from the backyard hunter is precious.

Currently I live in the city in an apartment complex. An attitude adjusment had to be made on my part. Make the most of what nature is available and create a bit more in terra cotta pots. Viola...

Researching plants for butterfly garden and will grow one tomatoe plant.

Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

I love to take walks myself, but since I live in the city, the only greenery I see is in peoples yards. I do appreciate this time of year when I see all sorts of wonderful flowers blooming in peoples yards, and it gives me ideas for my own little small garden. I am glad you were able to save the little birdie, I have tried on occasion to do the same, but am often too late.

greekwitch said...

I know what you mean. I do not have the opportunity to spend time in nature, but when i can i enjoy it very much.
Beautiful post. It felt like my "gratitude walk" for the day.