November 1st.  There are still a lot of leaves on trees here in southern Minnesota, many still green.  We may have passed the peak of color, but I still see a lot of glorious yellows and oranges.  Here and there are bare trees, and I know some people get a little sad when they see them and think of the somewhat gray, cloudy days of November.  I love September and October, but I think November has a beauty all its own.  All the work that goes along with being a gardener is over, the busyness of the holiday season isn’t in full swing yet, the days are shorter, and it’s a perfect time to go inward and reflect.  The silhouette of the bare trees against the sky reminds me of their magnificent strength and structure, and it seems like I draw strength from them.  Nature has so many benefits for us, I believe, if we learn to pay attention.

This morning before I even thought about the fact that it’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, I found myself feeling thankful for the warm, running water flowing into my bathtub.  I felt thankful for the handmade soap with its natural scent of lavender.  It just dawned on me that these are blessings, that we are rich in so many ways, most of which we scarcely notice.  So. . . I plan to write some posts this month about things I am thankful for, big and little. Today, I’m thankful for that water, the bathtub, the soap, the big, fluffy towel, my small but pretty and relaxing bathroom. I’m thankful for the many, many plants that produce the wonderful fragrances from which we obtain essential oils for our pleasure and healing.

I’m thankful for the women I work with who, though classified with disabilities, sometimes teach me important lessons.  This morning, one of them pulled a quarter out of her coat pocket, and, with a huge smile on her face, said  “Look, I’m rich!”.  Her housemate looked at her and said,  “Not really”.  It reminded me that we all look at life through a different lens, and we can change that lens with a little awareness and effort.

I’m thankful for the ability to stop and notice all the good things in my life.


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