Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia!
I grew up in West Virginia. One need not look far to see why it deserves its state motto. The hills, full of forestland and clear rivers, call out to their inhabitants daily for notice.
Admittedly, I took it for granted, as though all children everywhere had their eyes filled with God's glorious, natural beauty every time they looked up from their activities or through the nearest window.
In the way a fish does not appreciate that it is swimming in water, I did not know that my environment was precious to me until I left it. A certain peace was lost until time brought me to another home in the woods:
Sweet Home Alabama
Every morning, coffee cup in hand, I stare into the rising light and utter a prayer.
The gratitude is for more than the physical world in front of me. It is often for the beauty that could be overlooked if life had been too easy.
A warm greeting, a listening ear, a genuine smile, clean water, a sweet caress, a pain-free day, a comfortable and safe home, a full belly, a good night's sleep, a covering of forgiveness, a sense of belonging--these are beautiful gifts, sacred, and scarce for millions in a harsh world.
Purposeful living begins with taking inventory. What do you already possess? How can you experience your gifts in a more intentional way? How can you use what you have to bring beauty to those around you today?