Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Gratitude Tree

This morning my husband and I were taking our regular 5K walk that is a part of our health insurance plan. Every month or so, it will be "Walk Week" and sometime during the week the 1500+ employees of this company head out in singles, couples, and groups to walk the required distance. While there are specific paths that have been pre-approved we can walk any path that we desire as long as we document the distance and time that we did it in.


Our walk this morning took us to our newest favorite path that passes by nursery fields, a skate park, offices, and through what I like to call a rural wilderness area - this is that place where you feel miles away from everything, but it is really just a block away from the hustle and bustle of industrial and commercial business. Even though we often walk on this path each time is a different experience. Nature changes the path from hot and dry to cool and dark, sometimes we find it muddy with puddles to avoid, or like this morning caked dirt with piles of leaves and debris from the recent storm. It's fun to head out on the path that we know and see what will be different and what will be the same. Kind of like life!  The landmarks are the point of reference for where we are, how far we have left to go and where to turn around. This morning as we made reached the first big landmark a very old tree that I particularly enjoy I saw that there was something - a lot of somethings hanging from it's branches. As we approached the tree and were close enough to make it out we saw 25-30 tags hanging in what appeared to be a random pattern. Of course my curiosity drew me closer and I paused the program on my phone recording our walk time to find out what was going on with "my tree".

The tags on the tree were from people saying what they were grateful for! All different, all with wonderful statements of appreciation for individuals, events, life experiences - right there on our path was a real life Gratitude Tree.

I was astounded and thrilled! Over the years, with the kids we have made gratitude trees and wreathes that we have displayed in our home, but never before have I seen a public tree so proudly and beautifully displayed and shared! Immediately our minds were uplifted, our hearts were filled and we touched the place that connects all of us. Someone had the brilliant idea of sharing their good, just putting it out there to share with anyone who walked by.

When I arrived at the office and shared about the gratitude tree our office administrator, Diane asked if there was a bucket of tags there for others to add theirs. I had not looked for one so I did not know, but inspiration occurred and I am now planning my own public gratitude tree where a ripple of good can begin.

In the meantime, I begin with declaring what I am grateful for here. I am grateful for the amazing people who I know and don't know who inspire me and remind me of the magnificent life I am living!