“And the corollary to carpe diem — a vein that runs deeply through the rock of poetry — is gratitude, gratitude for simply being alive, for having a day to seize. The taking of breath, the beating of the heart. Gratitude for the natural world around us — the massing clouds, the white ibis by the shore. In Barcelona a poetry competition is held every year. There are three prizes. The third prize is a rose made of silver, the second prize is a golden rose, and the first prize: a rose. A real rose. The flower itself. Think of that the next time the term ‘priorities’ comes up.”
– Billy Collins, from Commencement speech at Colorado College, 2008
Stop. Yes. Stop. Right. Now.
Take a breath. From wherever you are reading this indoors, go outside. Just Stop. Then Go.
Find the first bloom of color. Green will greet you. Let's hope it's a weed because of its tenacity. Wander and take in nature's resources to award your participation in Gratitude.
Watch what crosses your path. Maybe a snail will slow you down. You might notice a spider web filled with dew. Possibly a bird will fly by and utter sounds you have never heard.
Once you return to the place you inhabited before you read this, read the quotation again.