Several months ago I decided to start a gratitude journal. Since I have kept journals all my life, it seemed like a natural way to begin my day. What I discovered early on was that my gratitude flowed more freely when I was outside surrounded in nature. When I walk out my backdoor in the early morning hours, I am greeted by my beautiful herd of deer that I have raised and loved. After greeting them, I give thanks for their safety and good health, and for the joy and peace they bring to me. As I carry food out to the pines I give thanks for the long line of turkeys that loudly gobble with delight at the sight of me. While I fill up all of the bird feeders in my yard I give thanks for the squirrels as they slowly stretch and then eagerly climb down the tree and out of their nest boxes. After I finish putting out food and water for all the creatures I sit on my old dilapidated picnic table beside the pines and say my morning prayers. By this time, the sun begins to rise and a chorus of birds sings with such joy that I am moved to tears. My final thanks are for my life and all the beauty of nature that surrounds me.
As I wrote on the pages of my gratitude journal I realized that it is the small, simple joys in my everyday life that I am the most thankful for. These are the elements that sustain me when everyday problems threaten to overwhelm me. It is the kindness and love of other people and my beloved creatures that are my greatest treasures in each day. As the New Year begins I have much to be thankful for. Thanks to three kind and generous donors we are completing renovation on a new addition of a treatment barn for fawns that have been injured and need long-term care. In March we will also begin a major renovation to our songbird room. This will allow us to provide better care and more housing for the many hundreds of birds that we receive each year. I believe that gratitude creates a positive energy in your life that attracts positive people and experiences. I feel blessed to be surrounded by energetic, compassionate and creative volunteers and interns. I also am thankful for the kind, caring and generous donors who have helped to create this special sanctuary that we lovingly call the Nook.
In the words of Meister Eckhart “If the Only Prayer you ever say is ‘Thank you’ it will be enough.”
Love and Blessings, Cheryl