On the kitchen island, sunflowers stand in a white vase. Their yellow heads are beginning to droop. Time is passing on.
In my studio, two cacti blossom. Life’s natural impulse to grow and flower is on display in riotous pink pressed against winter’s presence lying in pristine white outside the window.
In the trees that line the bank between our yard and the river, a squirrel scurries down. Winter is coming. There are preparations to be made.
It scurries towards the birdfeeder hanging along the fence at the back of our yard. It has become a squirrel seed depot.
The squirrel grabs at the tiny lip of the feeder and hangs on. Its body swings precariously from side to side. It steadies itself and opens its mouth ready to catch the seeds as they spill out.
Pouches full, it leaps back to the fence onto a tree branch, scurries up the trunk, sailing effortlessly from one branch to the next until, high up, it reaches a hole in the tree and disappears.
Another squirrel replaces it at the feeder.
I wonder if squirrels have a sound for gratitude?
Is gratitude heard in the deep sigh of contentment as I sit in the darkness at my desk breathing in the beauty and wonder of the world around me?
Is it heard in the quiet hum of the furnace blowing warm air into the house?
Is it in the rustle of Beaumont’s body as he moves against the hardwood floor where he sleeps beside me?
Is it felt in the quiet, slow lightening of the day seeping across a nighttime sky ebbing into dawn?
Is it known in the halo of the lamp that lights my fingers as I type or the glowing of the candle on the desk beside me?
Is it tasted in the sip of my latte, foamy milk flowing warm and silky across my lips, down my throat and into my body?
Is it seen in the silent shimmery dark silhouettes of the trees dancing in the morning breeze outside my window, their not yet fallen leaves black against a not quite morning sky?
It is all here.
Filling me with gratitude.
It does not wait for the right season. Better weather. For time to flow from one moment to the next.
This beauty is here. Now.
And so am I.
And so is Love.