247. Walking by My Lake

I’ve lived in my condo for almost ten years now, and I never will get tired of walking to the other side of my lake and back. It’s about a mile there and back, so it’s good exercise. But I enjoy the wildlife — birds, deer, and plants. I’m never getting tired of how they all change with the seasons. Today the first flock of Canada geese for the winter was floating on the lake, and the leaves are almost down. I feel more in touch with nature on a daily basis than ever before in my life. And I’m thankful.

246. Autumn

I’ve let this blog go for more than a year. (Losing all my past entries a few years ago disheartened me.)

But today our pastor preached a sermon about gratitude. I also learned recently that when they did a study comparing people who wrote five things they were grateful for each day with people who wrote five sentences about one thing they were grateful for – writing five sentences about one thing had more benefits. And that’s what this blog is all about.

So I’m going to try to revive my habit of posting on my Sonderblessings blog. I’m going to start with a simple one: I love Autumn! And this has been an exceptionally beautiful one in Virginia. The picture above was taken on one of my rambles in the late afternoon between the brightly-colored rows of trees across the lake from my home. Just a beautiful place to get to look at often. I’m thankful!

236. I Took Pictures.

I’m scanning old film from when we lived in Europe – and I’m so very glad I took so many pictures! I do so love pictures of castles! It brings me right back to how it felt to stand on the top of tower and look out over miles of green countryside. Or maybe look through a broken archway and wonder what life was like in that very spot 500 years before.

I am so blessed that I got to visit so many beautiful places.

204. Great Blue Herons

At least one great blue heron likes to frequent my lake. When I first moved here, rather new at being divorced, a friend urged me to look up the “spirit meaning” of herons. Supposedly they represent self-reliance, balance, navigating life’s difficulties with grace. Sounds good!

This month something happened that got me feeling down and alone.

And then I started seeing lots of great blue herons.

On my trip to Chincoteague and Assateague, I hoped to see ponies (and eventually did) – but saw great blue herons each day:

After I got home, when it stopped raining, the first time I took a walk around my lake, there was a heron again.

Then three out of four days this week, when I looked out my window at breakfast, there was a heron. I didn’t even have breakfast at the same time each day.

And finally, I went for another walk around my lake today and saw another one.

I decided I don’t have to feel alone. I can focus on self-reliance and balance. And whatever comes next, I’m going to be able to navigate it with grace.

And besides, it’s really fun to see so many of these beautiful birds!

203. Close Encounter

I took a reading retreat in Chincoteague. I was a little disappointed to only see ponies from a distance. I admit, I prayed and asked to have a closer encounter. I didn’t expect to have one actually pass me on a narrow path on the beach! I then walked for a long way following the pony or parallel to the pony.

It was awesome.

194. Hiking

I do love going hiking. My kids know that, and agreed to go hiking with me, but I don’t know if they know that part of the reason I love to go hiking is that when I was a kid, the only time I got to do it was when we were on vacation going to Oregon. And often we would go to Silver Falls State Park to do it.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, the idea that I can walk out of my house and walk in the woods still blows me away.

But it was extra nice to hike at Silver Falls State Park on this vacation. And I really believe that I remember South Falls – and going behind the falls – from a much shorter perspective.

Anyway, it was a lovely day for walking in the woods with my kids. And they didn’t even complain when we got caught in a rainstorm at the end!

184. Total Solar Eclipse

Yes, I got to travel to South Carolina and stay with a friend – and I got to see the Total Solar Eclipse today!

Now, I got to see one in 1999 in Germany – but clouds covered the sun a few *seconds* before it went total. That time, we got to see darkness, and we got to see the partial eclipse leading up to totality. But we didn’t actually get to see the moon covering the sun.

This time, I did – and it was incredible! Awe-inspiring and wonderful.

Mind you, there was a cloud right next to the sun just before it went total – and I was SO afraid it would happen again! But no! I really got to see it! The sun’s corona around the moon was amazing.

I’m so thankful I got to see it!