Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Are You Grateful?

I put together the collage above as a statement of gratitude for Are You Grateful? a "Monday Morning Power" site. You can go follow the Are you Grateful link above as well as the one at the end of this post, if you are interested in preparing your owns statement of gratitude or if complain, complain, complain is more what you are up for there is a site for that linked below too. I think they are both good ideas but since I tend to complain plenty, I went with the gratitude statement. If you participate, your statement is posted on the homepage and it's up to you if you also want to post it on your own site and tell others about it. I decided to post mine here too, as you can see above, and at the end of this post are links to the sites of others who have participated so far, and you can browse their gratitude statements at Are you Grateful ?
It was an easy choice for me to make when preparing a gratitude statement because one of my favorite aspects of the natural world in which I live is the seasons. Thus, I went with I am grateful for seasons and I thought I would expound on that in my post here, although I went with the collage alone for my official one. I like all of the seasons. I'll admit that I tend to complain about the summer when it drags on and wouldn't mind living somewhere with a longer winter but no doubt if I lived somewhere with a long winter, I might feel differently. This time of year is so much fun because the changes unfold almost before my eyes. The shot above was taken on March 20 and the shot below of the same tree and branch was taken on April 7. I was facing in a different direction for the two shots which is why it almost looks like the dogwood branch is against the oak below where it looks like it's against the sky above.One of the fun blooms for me, in the spring, are the ones on the redbud. They do flower near the top on small branches for a more conventional look but as you can see below they also pop out on the big trunk like branches too.
There is something about a flower growing on a trunk that makes me laugh. Not sure why but it does and in my book, laughter is something I'm grateful for. The shot below is of the same redbud tree but is taken on the street that is beside my neighbor, where you can see just how secret my secret garden is.
I am grateful to know that I can go out into my back garden in my nightgown, secure in the knowledge that my privacy screening is sufficient to avoid my scaring small children. The shot below is of one of my neighbor's secret garden from the outside. I've watched that garden grow through the years and I am grateful that even if my garden goes totally to seed, I can enjoy other people's nearby gardens without the work it takes to maintain mine.
This time of year, it's all I can do when I'm walking around my neighborhood to keep from bursting out with the Mr. Rodger's neighborhood song. Below is a shot taken during a neighborhood walk when I came very close to singing, It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I am grateful that if I'm ever arrested for inappropriate singing, I have friends and family who would bail me out of jail.I think I'll stop on that note although I could go on and on and for that I'm grateful. Nice to know that when you come right down to it, I can think of many, many aspects of my life that I'm grateful for.

Below are the links to the host for Are You Grateful? as well as the links to the people who have participated in one or the other of these blogger activities. I copied and pasted the information below from the home site.

*Start Copy*
In order to be able to achieve and maintain happiness we need to, actively, be able to do two things:
  1. Complain and then let go (Dump the baggage, the roadblocks to happiness.)
  2. Express Gratitude (The open expression of gratitude promotes happiness.)
After all everyone has something to be grateful for and/or something to complain about. If you would like to share, please follow the appropriate link and do so: "Are You Grateful?", "Complain Complain Complain."

Contributors to "Are You Grateful?" & "Complain Complain Complain.": 1-Attitude, the Ultimate Power 2-Max 3-DianaCA's Metamorphoses 4-Mental Poo 5-My Thoughts 6-Baba Doodlius 7-Wake Up America 8-Life is a Roller Coaster 9-Life is Beautiful 10-pinay mommy's love blog 11-My Happiness Haven 12-And Life Goes On for a Filipino Mom 13-Blessed Sanctuary 14-Expressions And Thoughts 15-Memories by Jenn 16-Reminiscence of My Adventures 17-In the Life of Mne 18-Juliana's Lair 19-Pinay Wahm 20-Lucid Creativity 21-Winged Words 22-Irresistible Fascinations 23-A Little Time 24-See Me For What You Will 25-Greatest Reviews 26-ETC ATBP 27-Gandacious 28-We Are Family 29-Journey to this thing called LIFE 32-BaReFooTeD Me 33-Uncomplicated 34-Points of View 35-Pride & Prejudice 36-Colorful World 37-Nora's Notes 38-A Daily Walk With Bill & Gina 39-Strange but True 40-Everything Under The Sun ( Beth Rebokon ) 41-Kaleidoscope 42-Fil-Oz Blog 43-By Osc@r Luiz 44-Comedy Plus 45-Blogging by Sandee 46-Soul Meets World 47-Mae's Memoirs 48-Beyond the Rave Reality 49-Amori, poesie, arte, chat by Hanna 50-Attached at the Hip 51-Carver's Sight or is that Site? 52-Empress Reviews 53-Simple Pleasures In My Heart 54-Lourdes' mia 55-A Grateful Heart 56-YOU
*End Copy*


escape said...

nice one. i like the two shots of the same tree from two different seasons. it reminds me of life as a cycle of downfalls and growth in life.

jmb said...

I too am grateful for the seasons. Especially Spring which is my favourite.
Excellent post Carver.

Carver said...

Hi "the dong", Thanks and I'm glad you liked the contrast in the dogwood limb from before and after it flowered. I was amazed at how quickly it did flower.

Hi JMB, Thanks and I bet spring in Vancouver is beautiful. I enjoyed your early spring shots from a few weeks ago and I hope your late snow didn't harm anything.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful prose. I am enjoying your insightful wisdom. Its oddly funny, how we look at life. My recent blog ramblings have been completely affected by this theory; appreciation vs. complaint. It is the former that I completely subscribe to in life; however, the latter does have it's purpose. I can tell that you truly do appreciate the simpliest things that Life has to offer. You have a beautiful sense of spirit. Thanks. (a note of appreciation!)

Anonymous said...

I am grateful that you have posted these lovely spring like photos, they give me a lift as I miss spring so very much living up here.

Anonymous said...

I downloaded your picture of your neighbour's secret garden and it makes a lovely desktop background. So my computer is decked out in Spring even if I see 2ft of snow out my window. Thanks for sharing

Carver said...

Thanks Becky, I've enjoyed the thoughts on your blog too. You have had a lot to deal with and I think it's important to complain sometimes. Believe me, I will say loudly that MELANOMA SUCKS and the aftermath of surgery or treatment, etc. If I were in active treatment or had active disease, I know I'd be complaining A LOT!

Hi Vic,

I'm glad I could bring you a little virtual spring. I'm sorry you are still dealing with so much snow. I know that must get old.

Barbara said...

Great post, yes we should all be grateful, I agree with you I am grateful for the seasons.

Anonymous said...

Oh What a wonderful post!
There is nothing like thinking of all the things out there deserving of gratitude to give a total reality check.
It takes my breath to think of it all.
I love redbuds...standing there all alone in the wintry treescape just whispering that all will be green soon.
And the white of dogwoods is my favorite white.
You lucky dog, you, to be surrounded by such beauty. Thank you for not keeping it all a secret.
I am truly grateful for you, my friend. I do cherish you so.
Love, K.

***even as a jaded teenager sitting in church with such a scowl, this one brought tears of beauty to my eyes everytime...
still does. (Check your somethin' for ya!)

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.
-Eleanor Farjeon, 1922

Dee said...

Yes, there's a place for complaining, but I think in my past, I might have complained too much about things that I now know are really minor issues. There's been a lot of research reported lately that says that just by reminding yourself of all that you have to be grateful for, the happier you are.

So, I try to remind myself of that. Sometimes it's hard because I am in active treatment for metastatic breast cancer. But I am grateful for good friends (who compose and share songs with me and bring me jokes), great colleagues (who are helping me out a lot - bringing over dinner or buying me dinner or taking up some of my workload), parents at Eddie's school who have helped by cooking me dinners and also for taking Eddie for playdates, and a supportive family (who cook dinners for me and help me take care of my son). Plus, it's spring, I am thankful to have a job I love that allows me to do interesting things (most of the time), my son got a really good report at his parent-teacher conference last night, and a good life in general. Thanks for bringing up the subject, Carver. It's a good reminder.

Carver said...

Hi Starnitesky, I've been enjoying your photographs of changes and seasons where you are.

Hi Kim (guess who), Thank you for your thoughts and quotes and for being you (do I sound mushy or what). I love, love, love the song you sent me.

Hi Dee, I think you good humor and appreciation of what matter in your life comes out in your blog and comments. You have a lot to deal with and believe me, I'd be doing a lot of complaining in your situation. What I said to Becky who is dealing with metastatic melanoma is pretty much what I'd say to you except change melanoma to breast cancer sucks. I think it's important to be able to acknowledge what is lousy as well as to be grateful for what you have and I think you strike a good balance with it.