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“The need for less often results in a life of more.” ~Brian Gardner

Warm temperatures have finally arrived in the northeast, and the sun glows brightly in the clear sky today. The air is crisp and alive with birdsong.

Azaleas bloom beneath a cherry tree, their pinks promising an end to frost warnings.

I am alone, in a lounge chair, in a beautiful back yard full of green.

Can’t really think of a single thing I need in this moment: it’s perfect.

I feel blessed to be alive…

Which got me to thinking about the word “blessed” while I let the sun dance on my skin.

It’s one of those words to which we’ve become inured; assuming we know what it means.

“God bless you.”

“Have a blessed day.”

Or when we sneeze: “Bless you.”

And then there’s “bless your heart,” a good thing to say and to hear, except when uttered by certain Southerner ladies who can twist its meaning like a knife.

These random thoughts propelled me to look up it’s origins:

The word ‘blessed’ comes from the Old English based on blōd for ‘blood’. The meaning was later influenced by its use to translate the Latin verb benedicere meaning ‘to praise, worship.’ Later, its meaning was further fleshed out by a melding with bliss.

But I liked this obscure association the best: “The ancient Greek word for “blessed” is makarios, which was originally used to describe those who lived in another world far from the problems and worries of others. Those who were “blessed” seemed to be free from earthly cares and struggles.”

And then there are the synonyms: holy; divine; heavenly; sacred; godly; eternal; supernatural.

So, it appears that my time in the back yard today, spent doing nothing but feeling grateful for the beauty and stillness which surrounded me, was apparently not only enjoyable, it was probably as close to ‘holy’ as I’m gonna’ get this week.

And it seems to me that the entire world would be well served to spend an hour or two in a green space, tending a garden, hugging a tree—whatever—if only to grab a little gratitude for ourselves, to think to ourselves if only for a moment, “I feel blessed.”

I think we all could use that right now, to feel a little freer “from earthly cares and struggles.”

Maybe if we treasured the things available for free outside our homes as much as the stuff we’ve accumulated inside our homes, we’d all be a little less grumpy and a little more grateful.

“Gratitude makes optimism sustainable.” ~Michael J. Fox

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