Chasing Down the Muse: Much to be grateful for

Up on the rooftop…drip, drip, drip.

There is a steady drumming up on the rooftop. Neither the Little Drummer Boy nor Santa's reindeer, I suspect, as I rouse myself from deep sleep. Ah, yes! 'Tis the consistent patter of rain falling just over my head as I snuggle under the pile of covers here in this aerie.

The nearby patter of rainfall is just one of the reasons I love sleeping high in a raised space — a sleeping loft. The trees drape over the house at this juncture. The skylight lets in moonlight and owl hoots and sweet fresh breezes. I am able to wake up with natural light, though I often rise much earlier. My first day's moments are one with nature. What's not to like?

As I toss back the covers to rise and begin the new day, a sudden gust of wind sends the chimes into a chorus of "Good King Wenceslas …" and I smile. Early morning on a rain-soaked day and already I am filled with gratitude.

Since this is the time of year for giving, I can think of nothing better than to give the gift of gratitude…gratitude for all there is. The list begins with gratitude for family and good friends. Gratitude continues for a life filled — with joys and work that is fulfilling and fun and good people with which to share all of these. I am grateful, too, for the challenges that lead to growth and wisdom. I am grateful for good health and the energy to look forward to years to come.

These are the big things. There are myriad little ones. The grip of a child's small hand. The soft breeze on my skin. The smell of the sea or an orange blossom. The swell of my heart when listening to a beautiful aria or joyful laughter. The list could go on and on and on.

To give and receive gratitude is such a blessing. For my holiday gift to all of you, again, I pass along a "recipe" of sorts for gratitude from one of my favorite writers, Mary Oliver, from her poem "Gratitude." Whether you are alone for this holiday or with others, these are questions to ponder. They may bring you to a place of acknowledgment of all there is for which to be grateful in this and all seasons. This may just be the best holiday recipe of all! No weight gain and perhaps even a lightening will occur.


What did you notice?

What did you hear?

What did you admire?

What astonished you?

What would you like to see again?

What was most tender?

What was most wonderful?

What did you think was happening?

As the raindrops continue to fall on the rooftop, I wish Happy Holidays to you all. I am grateful for the opportunity to enter your lives just once in a while with my words and to share my own vision of the small world in which I live. Here's to a life filled with…well, fullness.

Cherril Doty is an artist, writer, counselor…always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the myriad mysteries of life. She can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745.9973.

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