Thursday, February 02, 2012

Gratitude in the Midst of Busyness

Even when I have busy, tiring weeks, I feel it's important to pause to reflect on gratitude, to focus my thought on thankfulness.  This is why I love the following quote: 
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

 And this is why I love Friday Fave Five which is hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.  Here are my five favorite moments from Willow's Week.
1.  I cannot tell you how much I love homemade raspberry freezer jam.  I make my own.  I love it on toast. With peanut butter.  My lunch sometimes often includes a simple slice of toast with peanut butter and jam.  And raspberry is my favorite.

2.  Herons are one of my favorite birds.  Fortunately, I live in an area where herons are abundant.  This guy was posing for me recently at Channel Islands Harbor.

Along the creekbeds, I watch for them as I drive to work.  This week I spied a white heron (is this an egret?)  in an unusual spot.  Not in its normal habitat.
(full disclosure here: this is a heron I photographed at San Diego Zoo)

The white heron I saw this week was confusedly wandering, lost and bewildered, along my street.  While it is true that I live two blocks from an artificial lake which is in the middle of a golf course, this bird was seriously out of its preferred environment.  But he/she/it was so cute. I just had to slow down, stop, open my window and shoot some photos.

3.  Every day as I cross under the freeway (Hwy 101) to access the onramp, I look to the right up the road and over a field of citrus trees and in front of it at a row of poinsettias growing tall and semi-wild.  It thrills me every time I see the brilliant red blooms glowing over the dull greens and browns of a Southern California winter.

4.  Another walk. Ventura Harbor this week.

5.  The internet.  After being without internet at home for almost three full days, I am happy to have access again.  It's a little freaky how dependent we are on technology to work, play and communicate.

That was my week.  Busy and filled with compositions to correct, but also filled with blessings when I searched for them.


LivingforGod said...

That's funny: I also mentioned about homemade jam on my FFF's list :). I love all your beautiful photos and descriptions. Glad to hear that you have internet access again.

Faith said...

Oh yummy....a couple of other bloggers mentioned jam or berries this week too and I bought a new jar of 2 raspberry jam this past week that just might make my faves next week! lol....I LOVE all your pics as live in such a pretty place....I've only been to San Francisco but someday I'd love to see Malibu.....have a great weekend!

Dorothy said...

Those wild poinsettias are gorgeous, Willow! What a sight to see every day!

roxie said...

It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Yes!

Love your herons. I would call the white bird an egret, but what do I know? Poor fellow, lost on the southern California highways.

Our favorite restaurant makes homemade freezer jam with Hood Strawberries. OMG it's bliss on a spoon!

Jientje said...

I've never seen a photo of poinsettias in the wild before, it looks absolutely stunning! Raspberry jam is my favorite too! Have a great weekend Willow!

ellen b. said...

That white long legged guy/gal walking down the street is really funny and out of the ordinary. Glad it didn't fly away before you could snap away! Glad you got your internet back...

Mo said...

I LUUUV raspberry jam! Good choice, my friend! ;) Here's to a great weekend ahead...enjoy it!

Karyn said...

Raspberry freezer jam is awesome! Unfortunately, I can not prepare freezer jam because my hubby is allergic to fresh (uncooked) fruit. If I'm going to make jam, I obviously must make cooked jam. (not as yummy, but .....)

Love the egret photos! You are right, he/she/it is so cute. Kind of sad, though. I, too, love herons. We see them around here fairly often - not the white ones, though.

I can see how the pointsettas would give you a 'thrill' as you drive by! Their color is so vivid. I saw my first non-potted pointsetta last spring in Zambia - amazing plants (trees)!

BTW....LOVE the quote!

Shannon said...

I love jam!

Jerralea said...

I love the wild poinsettias! Gorgeous photos. You live in such a beautiful area.

Now I have the urge to raspberry jam ... even though my favorite is blueberry.

Barbara H. said...

We pass an apartment complex with a drainage pond where we sometimes see a heron. I hope the one you saw finds its way home.

It would be very hard to go 3 days without Internet! Glad yours is back.

How glorious to have such vibrant color in the winter!

Aqeela said...

I love the quote at the top, very true for most of us. Also, we see a heron in our garden or along our street somewhere every few months, and we saw him flying today! I love them, they arent common around here.
Aqeela xx

Susanne said...

I love that quote and could very well use it as the quote for FFF!

Love the heron and those amazing wild pointsettas! So pretty!

Catherine said...

I love home made jam, too. It tastes like the fruit, and not the sugar.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful world with us. It definitely brightened my (surrounded by brown dead things in NY) mood to see them. The herons would make me smile, too.

How did we every live without internet?

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Brenda said...

I think freezer jam is better in any flavor, it just tastes fresher. I often make strawberry, but raspberry sounds wonderful!

Susan@FruitfulWords said...

Those are poinsettias? What a beautiful sight. I had no odea they could grow so big. The heron was also beautiful and most definitely lost.

I received a gift of home made strawberry jam this week. Jam was surely a them for the week.

I'd be lost without the Internet too.

Thanks for your words of comfort (about Chip). They helped. :)