I awoke to a beautiful morning here in Iowa, with a cool, Fall-like temperature….so I got dressed, laced up my sneakers, grabbed my phone, and went out to walk before I could talk myself out of it.
I am met by bright sunshine, a light breeze, and a perfect, cloudless blue sky, so clear it might have been painted on just moments ago. I walk down my driveway and out into the roadway, noting the autumnal changes in the landscape: maples turning, sumac beginning to show a touch of crimson; clusters of goldenrod and ‘ditch daisies’ at the side of the road, spiderwebs in the grass spangled with dew. Around the first curve of the road, our neighbor’s two dogs bound out to greet me. The black one, always more friendly than the smaller tan one, sticks his cold wet nose into the palm of my right hand. I laugh out loud and ruffle his ears and the two of them head off in pursuit of whatever adventure beckons to them.
It’s too early for the horses to be out yet, and traffic is almost non-existent. The morning is mine, and all the wonders it held: a monarch butterfly that followed me for a bit, lazily drifting from flower to flower; crows raucously calling, a lone turkey vulture circling, far over head. My goal was the old barn and silo that sit a little more than a mile from home. I’m nearing it now, pushing up my sleeves, wishing I’d worn a lighter top. I cross the road and begin the home stretch, sunlight spearing through the treetops, shadows lying across the road like lace. Pampas grass, the fuzzy heads brilliant in the morning light as if etched upon the day. My muscles are warm and loose and I kick it up to a light jog, feeling exhilarated. The horses are out now, grazing, sunlight burnishing the warm chestnut of their coats, tails swishing away the flies. I smile to see them. Traffic is picking up, people hurrying to unknown destinations, driving too fast. Do they even take the time to notice what a glorious morning it is?
Closing on home, I take the short cut across the yard to the back door….and as I kick out of my shoes in the entryway, I stop for a moment. I am thankful. For life. For the gift of the morning. For blessings too numerous to list here. I hope you took some time, today, to do the same.