A New Practice for the New Year

Golden-crowned Sparrow and Thomas Merton

In the wintertime, dozens of Golden-crowned Sparrows reside in the blackberry bramble just yards from my front door and a large flock of Dark-eyed Juncos (seen diving past the GCSp in the photo below) reside in my backyard. The wild birds consistently move me into deep moments of gratitude, which I repay with a consistent gift of seed and suet.

The last few weeks of mid-week holiday celebrations has completely destroyed my sense of time and balance.  Instead of waking up, sure that today is Tuesday and knowing what that means, I wake up wondering where the heck I am in the calendar and what the heck I’m supposed to be doing.

It’s not a pleasant way to start the day. Fortunately, I (usually) get up before first light, so I always know I have a little time to figure it out before my day has a chance to run away from me.


But one morning I woke up to the light of the sun peeking over the far foothills. I sat up and looked out the window in stunned silence for a few long moments, my mind racing to catch on to and catch up with the daylight. My first impulse was to turn back, lay down, hide my head under my pillow and shut out the light — and that’s exactly what I did.

After a few deep and cleansing breaths, I raised up on my elbows and brought my hands together in a “Namaste” sort of pose, felt my index fingers greet my nose with a light touch and then sank into the moment.

“Today is going to be a GOOD day,” I said (quoting the Dalai Lama in what I have heard him say is his practice as he awakens each day) as I rose up out of bed.

Buddy the WonderDog remembered our old practice of starting the morning with a declaration of its beauty and a quick cuddle before we allowed the day to overtake us. His head was on my shoulder before my feet hit the floor. Ha! GOOD boy. Today IS going to be a good day.

I have nothing more than that for you today, my friends, just my gratitude … but that’s more than enough, don’t you think?




  1. Delight Craft |

    Gratitude…yes enough for any and every moment. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. I love mornings because each one is an opportunity to start new. Unless the day is heavily scheduled, I am in full charge of how I steer my course, and optimism is my fuel. I don’t know when that happened, but I am grateful for it. I am also grateful for those occasions when I linger under the covers and am joined for those few extra moments by a cold nose or two.

    Love to you.

  3. What a great place in which to start our days… basking in the grace of gratitude! xo

  4. I’m not awake enough to be grateful before I get out of bed – but I’ll join you in gratitude after my shower 🙂

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