Grateful Praise

“For the beauty of the Earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise!”

It’s a gorgeous day. Sunny, blue-skied, fluffy clouds, slight breeze. Steering towards hot, but not there yet. I go to the farmers’ market. Sundress and sandals and bangles and raspberry lip stain (Just in case a kilted Liam Neeson happens to be there and wants to kiss me…) I can’t help but smile. I’m here to buy herb plants and local veggies. And tho i complete that task, the bulk of my time is spent wandering. Local artisans ply their wares: Jewelry, paintings, clothing, yard ornaments, toiletries and gewgaws. Local cooks hawk their specialties: Jams, sauces, spices, breads, cakes, and cheeses. Toddlers in cute Sunday outfits delight in marshmallow pop-guns. Blue-haired women of scores of years scarf freshly fried corn dogs. Rough, ungainly men try the skin-softening magic of handmade hand cream. Candles and cutting boards. Horseradish and holsters. You never know what you will find or who you will see. (Tho i have yet to see Liam Neeson).

Home with my loot, i begin Sunday chores. I string up the clothesline. I always feel like Grandma Walton when i hang wash on the line. It’s a really good feeling. Makes me smile. Apartment windows open so the breeze comes in. Plant my new seedlings on the patio: Tomatoe, thyme, rosemary. Vacuum. Walk the dog around the flowering apartment complex. Answer some mail. Set the music to Danny Elfman while i sip on a small, cold glass of wine. Typical weekend activities that hold no significance.

This is life.

The day of weedlinglessness grows ever nearer. It’s important for me to remember that life will go on. Weedlings or not. And if i can enjoy a beautiful day of solitude like today, then what have i to dread? Extra time to smell the roses. Or the rosemary. Even if i never had another date for the rest of my life, i’ve got so much to do and enjoy… How can i allow myself to be maudlin? How can i sit this evening, the scents of herbs wafting around me, the sounds of birds and frogs and leaves in the wind, and not be content?

Because i sometimes forget that “alone” doesn’t mean “unloved”.

And at those moments, i usually receive a sign. A text from an old friend. Or a new friend. A lick from my dog. An invitation to dinner. A call from a weedling. A fortune cookie that reads “Alone doesn’t mean unloved.” (God-Goddess-Universe knows i am sometimes rather thick, so the signs are often blatant). How grateful i am for those signs! They allow me to put my loneliness aside and be joyous. The beauty of the Earth! The glory of the skies! Shoes and ships and sealing wax! Cabbages and Kings! Manalive! Towanda! Up, up and away! And yippee-ki-yay! It’s Howdy Doody time!

Even as we destroy this planet, there is a lot of beauty to be had still. Each honeysuckle blossom. Each kitten. Each babbling brook. I may never get to enjoy Liam Neeson, but i can enjoy these things. And i do. Everyday. Don’t let me forget. And i will remind you, too. We can be joyous together. Take our routine activities and make them special by seeing the magic in them. Noticing the beauty. The flavor. The glory. We all can do it.

Maybe, someday, we can even learn to see it in each other.

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