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  • Writer's pictureNatalie R. Vice

A Time for Gratitude….

As November blew in on the mountain, it brought a blast of cold air and a reminder that there is a time for every season… it's now fall and the season of colder temps, colorful leaves, harvest moons, and, traditionally, a time for gratitude and thanksgiving.

As I closed October’s blog, I quoted Benjamin Franklin, and for those of you who don’t know me that well, Benjamin Franklin is among my very select group of special heroes. The October blog line was “Happiness, according to Benjamin Franklin, is an endless journey, not a comforting destination….where does your journey lead you?”

The long version of the story as to how he became a special hero for me is best left for another blog; for this post, it’s sufficient to say I deeply admire his gift of persuasion. Ole Ben persuaded many a colonist with his exquisite use of prose, pen & paper, rather than the swing of the sword or the blast of the bullet. That ability takes real talent, and as a writer, I can truly appreciate the effort that goes into mastering the art of persuasion.

And there we are, back to gratitude and appreciation. Quite fitting for this month of November and the national holiday we recognize in the US as “Thanksgiving Day”, wouldn’t you say?

Happiness, gratitude, and appreciation are conscious choices; that means we must “choose” to be happy, grateful and appreciative of our life, our surroundings, and the world in which we live. And it seems to me that many of our world population have forgotten that fact. It’s always someone or something that we look to in our quest to find that highly elusive “happiness” we’re all seeking. When in reality, we all must take responsibility for our own endless journey and, by default, our happiness, gratitude, and appreciation.

Greeting the day with a heart full of thanks gives us mortals the opportunity to open ourselves to consciously recognize blessings and opportunities as they flit our way each and every day. There is never a day that I wake up that I’m not blessed with lots of “happiness” opportunities – in fact, most often, they’re so numerous that I fail to accurately count them.

I, by design, also live in a place that makes it easy to be grateful. One glance across the horizon affords you a spectacular vista of blueish-purple mountain peaks, ascending as if to meet the heavens, white fluffy clouds that encapsulate those majestic peaks, and a multitude of colors in the leaves as they waver between life and death. Eventually, the onslaught of cold and wind will knock them to the ground, leaving only a wintry bleakness of empty branches against a backdrop of winter skies. Even that stark and contrasting view can evoke emotions of thankfulness. And, in the bigger picture, those dead and discarded leaves of summer past will provide the food necessary to feed the promise of tomorrow’s wildlife and forests.

As the days pass and the seasons change, we all should strive to stop, smell the roses, and take in all that we have been blessed to experience. There will only be one Fall of 2023; live it to the fullest!

I hope this blog will find you in a place of happiness, gratitude, and appreciation, but if not, maybe this post will be the catalyst that propels you forward to making that happiness choice!

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