“Join me in the pure atmosphere of gratitude for life.”   – Hafiz of Persia

I took myself to the beach yesterday because I was longing to look out at the Pacific ocean,  to look out at far as my eyes could see to the blue and white capped movement of the sea.  I love the ocean and many of my most deeply grateful and joyous moments are memories of frolicking in it.  I woke with memories of floating in the ocean yesterday and being there, cold as it is on the Oregon coast, was pure joy.

Sunny days are not taken for granted either on our beautiful beaches.  Huge expanses of sand flanked by towering rock cliffs and sea stacks, it is not unusual to watch the temperature drop 30 degrees in a matter of miles.  But yesterday, the sky was as blue as the sea and the sun reigned high in the sky.  Walking for miles down the beach was heaven.  Gratitude for the beauty of the place, for the warm sun on my face, for the ocean rolling in, was all there was.

Here is what I learned about gratitude in that moment. I was so saturated with appreciating the world exactly as it was that I could not distinguish the feeling from pure joy. Possibility is the color of things.  Everything that you imagine for yourself seems possible. This is the nature of joy and gratitude.

The perfect place is available for us most anywhere. When we fully experience the place we are in with all of our senses, gratitude comes easy. Even the places we inhabit daily, like our kitchen or bedroom have sweet spots of gratitude.  Paying attention to the details of our lives is a doorway to gratitude.  Our sense of place clarifies both our sense of time and belonging.

The more that I pay attention fully to where I am- the easier that gratitude finds me.