Warmest regards: Look for your daily gift
By Pattie Mihalik
I had to set the alarm early today for an important out-of-town appointment.
There was no time for my morning coffee or to leisurely read the paper. I was running a bit behind and was just focused on getting there on time.
But then, there it was. A spectacular scene that stopped me in my tracks.
The sun was an enormous glowing red ball making its slow rise over the palm trees. It was too pretty not to appreciate.
As I looked out the lanai, I saw the morning mist had rimmed the edges of the pond, looking as if someone with a silver crayon had outlined the tranquil water.
I wasn’t too rushed to know before me was my daily gift.
Every day brings a different gift. All we have to do is remain attuned to looking for it.
And even if are not looking for those special moments, they jump out at us. All we have to do is to appreciate them.
The other day when I was coming home from an assignment shivering with cold I didn’t think there was anything I could appreciate except getting home to a hot cup of tea.
Florida doesn’t get many cold days, and we seldom get rain at this time of year. But suddenly we got hit with both, and there I was without an umbrella or jacket while getting pelted by the cold rain.
It didn’t help my mood that the person I was there to interview was a bit arrogant and full of himself.
Once again, though, I got stopped in my tracks after I pulled into my driveway.
A small bird sitting on a long bare branch was singing its heart out in spite of the fact that the bird was sitting in cold rain.
That little bird and its cheerful song was my daily gift, reminding me to shake off a bad mood and appreciate all of life.
One of the things I love to do is spend a little time in early evening watching the birds come to the feeder in the backyard.
Some people say it’s not necessary to feed the birds when food is so prevalent. Truth be told, I feed them for me, perhaps more than for them.
There is something so uplifting in watching the birds and listening to their song.
When a family of cardinals blessed my bird feeder, I said a little thankful prayer to God for all the beauty in this world.
The view got even better when a pileated woodpecker in full plumage made a rare appearance.
It was another daily gift.
Years ago when I lived in Pennsylvania, a little phenomena always greeted me for my birthday. I called it my birthday gift from God.
Each year on the day before my April birthday I walked my yard, carefully looking for early blooming flowers. Aside from some crocuses in front of the house, I never saw other flowers.
The next day on my birthday, a profusion of violets covered the bank.
It happened every year. I have no idea how all those violets could spring up over night. But I loved to see it happen.
Back then, I always looked for birthday gifts from nature. Years later, I look for those gifts every day, not just once a year.
A few of my friends do the same thing. When we are together we sometimes share those sightings, proving that anyone who seeks a daily gift will find one.
Often my daily gift is something from nature. Yesterday was completely fogged in on my early morning walk. The bay was covered in white, making it impossible to see the water.
Yet there on a pole rising from the water was one lone pelican. It made such a stunning photograph that I wished I had my camera with me.
I took a picture of it in my mind while I said thank you for that daily gift from nature.
Oftentimes, I find my daily gift in the people around me.
Sometimes it’s only a simple encounter that sparks my appreciation for the goodness of people.
I was heartbroken when a popular charity event was sold out and I couldn’t get tickets for my favorite event of the year.
When a woman I had never met heard I was looking for tickets, she helped by asking those she knew. The end result was she came up with tickets for me.
My daily gift was that I encountered someone who went out of her way to help a stranger.
I see the goodness of people all around me. When a heavyset woman in a wheelchair needed transportation to a doctor’s appointment, her daughter couldn’t manage by herself.
The daughter went on our community Facebook page asking if anyone could help.
A big guy came forward. He did more than get the woman and her wheelchair in the car. He went along with them to help the daughter manage.
When a see complete strangers go out of their way to help others, I know it’s my daily gift because each time it happens, it reminds me of the goodness of people.
Seeing a daily gift — whether it is from nature or mankind — fills me with an appreciation for life.
Watch for your own daily gifts. It can definitely lighten moments of your day.
Contact Pattie Mihalik at firstname.lastname@example.org.