Blessings Abound

 Santa Barbara at Shoreline Beach

Santa Barbara at Shoreline Beach

It rained today.

That may not seem extraordinary in many parts of the country and world, but in drought-stricken Southern California, it was like manna from heaven. Rain so soft and steady—though pounding at times—it made me ache with the sense of a long-lost familiarity, of something lost for a very long time and now rediscovered.

Two friends and I walked at the ocean yesterday evening, just before the deluge, and I walked again this evening on the beach, picking my way among the strewn detritus thrown upon the shore by the storm's waves and marveling at the rushing rivulets that poured from the hillsides down to mix with the storm-sized surf.

Pink and yellow sunsets lit up the evening sky, and I had to catch my breathe in awe and gratitude.

So many in this world live in places where they might never see the sun dip into the ocean waves, the clouds pink and heavy above, coloring the sky and the world. I am blessed, and want never to take this world for granted.

Yesterday I walked with two dear friends, our dogs and our paces matched from years of sojourns together. This evening I wandered out to the beach during a break in the rain with my dog, Chevella, and ran across two similar-minded friends with their two hounds. Bundled against the wind, we walked as the sun moved toward the horizon and its inevitable dip into the deep sea, pinkened clouds hovering above like harbingers of sunrises to come.

We walked, the three of us, and came across another friend with her new Irish setter puppy, bounding with puppy energy and enthusiasm from person to person, dog to dog, tennis ball to tennis ball. There’s nothing like a puppy to remind us that life is for grabbing the absolute most out of the moment—chewing it, sniffing it, jumping up in joy, bounding down the beach with abandon.

I am grateful for this life, this place, this most magnificent point in time. Would that we could all feel—and recognize—the blessings that flow in and around us. There is so much to appreciate, despite the very real difficulties many of us endure. Open your heart, open your arms, open your sensibilities to the gifts available to you. May you feel the generosity of the universe in this new year.