practicing gratitude

I saw a challenge for bloggers titled “Mundane Monday.” The task was to find beauty in something completely commonplace, snap a picture of it, and post it.

I admit to not being much of a photographer. Most of the pictures here are quick shots taken with my iPod.

But I like the concept.

I especially like slowing down enough to be in the moment, to notice what you might ordinarily overlook, to appreciate what you would usually ignore. Mindfulness in a culture of frenetic multitasking is a rare but important discipline.

I thought I might tweak the challenge just a bit. I’m still going to look for beauty in the mundane, but I’m also looking for something that inspires gratitude. So often I am prone to take my blessings for granted–especially those commonplace, everyday blessings. Things that are so much a part of my daily routine that I don’t pay much attention anymore.

So this challenge should help me get my week off to a good start, by forcing me to slow down enough to notice the ordinary beauty and to pause in gratitude. A double win, I think.

The above is my view from the side kitchen window each day. Not the best picture, since I was taking it through the window, but I think it still shows how much loveliness is right outside my house. I can pause while cooking or doing dishes and go to the window for a quick refresher. Often there are deer. This morning we even had a whole flock (do you call it a flock? The internet can’t seem to agree on one answer) of wild turkeys hanging out. I wasn’t quite quick enough, but that would have made an excellent picture!

So I’m grateful for my beautiful surroundings, even though I see them every day (and sometimes during pretty mundane tasks!).

I’d love to hear what ordinary or commonplace things captured your attention with their beauty or reminded you to be grateful today. Let me know in the comments.