I have no theme today, no focus really, and it feels great, even in this small way, to just be looking at life for all that it offers in the moments of it. So today, here is a list of 10 things I am especially grateful for.

1. Cloudless blue sky. For the past couple of days, we have had the most beautiful weather. No humidity, just the right amount of heat so that it cools down for sleep at night, and these gorgeous, perfect, blue skies.

2. My parents. Today, they are coming up to spend the weekend with me. I know I have been blessed with good folks when they come 200 miles with a truck full of compost bins (my dad built one for me and one for a friend), seedlings for our garden, and other goodies. These people are truly amazing – they have taught me to be responsible and to deeply love the people around me while also learning to sit back and love life, too. I can’t wait to see them.

3. My cats. It’s a small thing, but this morning I woke up to find cat toys sprinkled around my head. All I could imagine was that while I was sleeping the three of them were making little gifts to me so that when I woke up I had what they think of as beautiful things all around me.

4. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. This past weekend, I breezed through the second and third books of the series, gobbling up the fantasy and momentum of these stories filled with magic and the struggle of good to continue conquering evil. The characters are fun, and the world complex. Plus, there’s this great animal character in the last two books that gives them whimsy and also reminded me of how everything – animals, plans, our human-made creations – is connected to something greater than ourselves.
Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix

5. The final meeting of time at the College. Today, finally, I will have my last formal meeting at the college where I teach. We are conducting interviews for a position, and after we are done, early this afternoon, I will not have to be in any more gatherings there as a full-time professor. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. I will still have some things to do – a couple of reports to write and an office to finish cleaning out (it’s really amazing how much paper a person can accumulate in 3 years), but for the most part, I am done. Finally. It feels like this day has been long in coming (probably because it has), but now that it’s here, I’m still struck by how much deep peace I feel about moving forward. Yahoo!

So my challenge for you today, my friends, is to find five things in today that you are grateful for. Think big – the Pacific Ocean – and small – beautifully painted toenails – and enjoy it. Really savor all of this glory of life.