This week’s Peace Nurturing Practice is gratitude.

The trail was resplendent with flowers from a recent burn on that magical summer evening when Ernie and I began our ramble. Carlton Reserve was humming with birds chattering about who would sleep where, trees drinking in the last of the sunlight, insects getting their evening nectar, and frogs announcing the approaching twilight.   As the light grew dimmer, the sun cast a golden glow on everything.  In between exaltations of, “Thank You, thank You, thank You, God!” I took photos and laughed with the joy of nature and life itself.  Peace swaddled our hearts. The photo accompanying this post was taken that marvelous evening.

Thinking of gratitude reminds me of the story I shared with you earlier of my wise, friend, Juanita who always responded to the question, “How are you?” with the most grateful, positive, and powerful reply possible: “I am blessed!”  Here’s a link to that story:

Gratitude and peace are intricately associated since gratitude generates peace. The more grateful we are, the happier and the more peaceful we are.  Let’s choose gratitude in every moment, discover great joy, and continue our work of building our personal Peace Power. 

We choose to be grateful for those who have come before us on whom our lives and nation depend. We are grateful for our parents, grandparents, and their ancestors.  We and our brothers and sisters would not be here but for our courageous predecessors and our current heroes in all walks of life who make our lives easier by cleaning streets, researching cures, teaching our children, removing garbage, tending to our physical health, helping us find lost pets, safeguarding our waters, preserving land, growing food, helping us laugh, and so much more.  We depend on others in infinite ways and are most grateful.   

What else brings us gratitude?  Here’s a brief list of some blessings I have experienced lately:

Beauty of Mother Earth: While at the beach a few nights ago, my friend Alise and I saw rays of the sun shining down through the clouds creating glorious streams of light flowing from the Sun to Earth. The sight of the sunbeams was engraved in our hearts. 

Gifts from other species: During my walk two days ago, I watched in awe as a Palamedes swallowtail butterfly fluttered about and then landed on a Live oak tree branch.  This precious wee being held still, gifting me time to absorb the joyous sight of his black and yellow wings spread over the leaves of the oak tree like a magician's cape. 

Learning and sharing something new: While driving home I heard on “For the Wild Things” from Dr. Jerry Jackson explain that most birds cannot drink with their heads down, but pigeons and doves can.  When I got home for lunch, I sat down in the back with my friend Pam and we watched a dove drink from a puddle with her head down instead of throwing her head back to drink as most birds do.  Thanks to Dr. Jerry, we watched her drinking style and compared it to that of the other birds.  What a blessing and joy to learn, observe, and share.

Making new friends: On my walk this morning I approached a yard which has quite a few native plants.  Given most lawns in the area are simply grass and support no insect or bird life, I was thrilled to see a yard alive with critters!  The owner was outside digging so I called to her and said, “I love seeing the bees on your Bee balm!” Ava responded with delight and we soon were talking a mile a minute about the plants and when she can come to my home to get starts of more native plants. We parted friends, smiling in gratitude. 

Sharing with others: Who knew not having Internet would be so much fun? First my sweet neighbor Pam shared her Wi-Fi connection with me.  Then the gentleman who came to repair my severed connection, Marty, fell in love with my Bee balm, a beautiful native plant with purple and green flowers about 5 feet tall.  It covers the side yard where he was working and fills the area with a heavenly scent.  Marty said he wanted to grow his own Bee balm so gave him the seeds I had collected last season.  Knowing he will soon have plants that host  bees, wasps and other pollinators and an amazing smell was a beautiful gift for him and me.  

One of the most satisfying parts of an ongoing practice of gratitude is the joy and inner peace that flow naturally as part of showing our appreciation for all the blessings in our lives. 


Gratitude opens us to experience

the sacredness and peace







Reflections – For the last several mornings, I awakened to the thought: “I am grateful for this new day.”  It feels wonderful and leaves me energized and open to recognize and rejoice in the blessings of the day.

Before I meditate, I create an energetic space of gratitude by addressing Great Spirit/God/Love: “Thank you for allowing us to sing the song of life, one more day.”  I am grateful for these words because they help me remember and honor the blessing and brevity of life itself.

Yesterday as I was writing a check, I realized here was yet another way to express my gratitude to those who have helped me in various ways.  Above my signature, I added the words: “Yours in gratitude.” I’ll probably never know if someone else even reads it, but I felt the joy of connecting to yet another blessing though this acknowledgment.

Each new day, each breath is a gift.  Each smile I smile or see is a gift. Each kind word from others or me is a gift. 

My practice of gratitude helps me remember the sacredness of each moment.

Your turn – Take a moment now, breathe out, smile and think of one person, event, setting, moment for which you are grateful.  Give thanks.  Repeat this gratitude inventory again each morning and evening. You may wish to keep a gratitude journal.  It's can be a powerful part of your peace nurturing practice.  Share the joy:  tell someone else of a blessing in your life. Perhaps you are grateful for knowing that person.  Share your gratitude aloud.  The more we look for and count our blessings, the more we experience gratitude and the peace that flows from our open, grateful hearts.  

Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth by nurturing peace in your heart, in your life.  The more that you embody peace, the more peace there is.

Jean Victor Balin Dove


“Gratitude makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today,

and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

- Melody Beattie





Photo was taken at Carlton Reserve earlier this summer. 

The evening was filled with colors,

shapes, shadows, and natural majesty. 

We left with hearts overflowing with gratitude.







Please pass on the peace

by sharing this post with

friends and family.