Welcome to the third of our seven-day practice in which we cultivate awareness of the wonder and gift of a normal day. We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Now, let's begin...
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We often refer to conversation about the weather as “small talk,” but weather is a powerful guiding force in our lives that invites humility, awe, and gratitude. Consider the wonder all forms of weather can offer in a given day: the rhythmic tapping of rain, the ever-changing landscapes of various forms of clouds, the invigorating energy of wind, the magnificent power of storms, the radiant warmth of sunlight from a star millions of miles away…
Throughout your day, gently open up to the full experience of weather. Sense the way it influences your experience and stay open to surprise for any shifts in both the weather itself and in your experience. Observe any resistance or disappointment you may feel about the conditions, and try to savor even those elements that may feel uncomfortable, welcoming the splendor and opportunities that “bad” weather might offer. When you find yourself experiencing the weather, say, “Wow, thank you.” Notice how this practice makes you feel in your body, observing any sensations or emotions that arise.
How does unconditionally appreciating the weather impact you?
What can you learn from loving the weather as it is?
Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…
This practice is inspired by Mary Jean Irion’s sublime meditation A Normal Day.
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Raised on the freezing, blustery northeastern banks of Lake Erie, the cold was always in my bones and my mood low. I spent 45 years enjoying only 2-3 months of each year.
Now, I thrive in the heat of sunny Southeast Florida. A tropical climate might not be right for everyone, but it sure is for me!
Still, 15 years after the Ohio to Florida move, I find myself bubbling up with joy. I stop my thoughts to see where the emotion is coming from. It is always the same. I am thrilled beyond words to enjoy the weather! My bones are warm! I am happy from deep inside my spirit whether I walk barefoot on the beach or in my backyard!
I never did learn to appreciate the northern weather, but I sure do here in the south. We have tropical storms and hurricanes and humidity and scorching hot sunshine, yes; and my spirit soars in unconditional appreciation of this weather!
It’s a challenge to see the wonder in Storm Dennis, following last weekend’s battering and devastation caused by Storm Ciara. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been flooded in our area, through no fault of local people, and despite their best efforts to prepare for and stem the floods. I suppose we have to be grateful that last night’s storm seems to have been not quite so severe and that in these dreadful situations it is always helpful to look for the good , especially the kindness, care and compassion shown.
I find myself appreciating the cold of Winter more and more, as it’s less and less, sadly; from the climate crisis ? reality
I wrote this as I reflected on the weather on this February day in the Pacific Northwest, perfect for nesting inside, but, there are things to do, places to go. I appreciated a sense of ease as I sat to write a haiku describing a scene from my afternoon.
Today: chilly, gray
Wind bites, rain comes, goes
Still, folks come out, smile and play
I am becoming aware, how releasing it is for me, that I cannot control the weather. (May be in future…. it depends ….) ? I respond and relate to. I adapt by choosing what I wear, what I do, which priorities…. sometimes I feel as a farmer – although I am not, who is living in strong and direct relationship to the weather. I enjoy that there is no pressure to consider which weather I am creating today…..
Indeed, I like to respond to the weather with a smile on my face, … it keeps me flexible, steadily flexibel in response. Love it and I am grateful about this fact.
A part of my morning devotional suggested to: “Lose yourself within a cloud formation. Observe the effortless artistry as the forces of nature consistently transform the day. A leaf falls, the sun rises to its zenith, a flower blooms. The ability to be a loving witness to the miracles of creation sparks passion and peacefulness that long to be given expression.Throughout the day, bring mindful presence to whatever you choose to do. Whether working or playing or resting, be here now. Notice how your body responds to each step you take. Does the warmth of the sun on your skin awaken a smile? When you close your eyes and breathe, do you feel love? Does the flight of a bird reflect your own sense of freedom?”I feel that this fits perfectly with reflecting upon the weather. One of my highlights of life affirming action is my evening walks in nature. I live in a city, a very polluted one, and these evening walks mean so much to me. Even when it’s in unbearably hot tropical weather. I am very concerned at what we had doing to Mother, the way we are treating her, and her slapping us back in the face for our uncaring actions to this beautiful planet and each other. Very possibly, if we were to all appreciate each region’s climate, the planet as a whole, then the weather would also be more charitable towards us too. In the meantime today I will celebrate the song of bird, on branch, in the steamy Thai sun.
Many years ago a professor replied to my complaint about the weather with “I never worry too much about it. I can’t control it.” It was a great lesson. Many years after that, we experienced one of the rainiest springs on record. We “got through” this experience by noticing with awe the myriad shades of green which were more prominent in- and fed by- the rain! With our dog (and the help of the right clothing) all weather is going out weather for us and a source of joy and wonder.
From the time as a child I’ve been drawn to weather….there’s a comfort in being immersed in something so much bigger than myself and not controlled by human made power. The weather is a doorway into the cosmos. I live where seeing the all encompassing wonder of weather is pretty hard to ignore. Western skies, day and night, deepest blues, intense sun, powerful invisible winds, and awe striking stars.
My mother&I speak about the weather everyday just as my grandparents had on both sides and this is a reflection of sincere love. I simply take notice of the weather throughout the day by now not minding the cold days; the rain is difficult but may be lovely too with an umbrella. I will buy one for walks so not to give up my walks!
I have a lively appreciation of weather, its variety and vagaries. In this time of climate crisis however it is hardly neutral. patterns are irregular and in many places weather events are extreme and ways of life are disappearing (in the Arctic for example). Personally this evokes a variety of responses: worry, anger, grief, activism, curiosity.
God is present and active during winter, spring, summer, and fall. God invites us to enjoy all four seasons and to be co-creators!
Each season has it’s own beauty.
Breathe in this natural beauty and exhale gratefulness to our loving Creator.
Thank you, God.
We Gulfcoast Floridians know two notable seasons: Snow Birds and Hurricanes. Either can be beautiful and dangerous, either bring all the makings to be extreme and either are an aquired taste.
I tried to capture hurricanes’ stark contrasts in a haiku before:
“Hurricane strength 3
In thundering noise”
PS Snow Birds defy being captured in anything.
What stands out for me are two words: “unconditionally appreciating.”That is so much more inviting to me than is “unconditionally accepting.” The word “appreciating ” changes my perspective, broadens my awareness and is life-giving. I can get both my mind and my heart into its fur!
As I write this I am sitting in the great state of New Hampshire. similar to Sheila below, I too live in New England because I love the changing of the four seasons. Right when I am frustrated by too much of one, a gentle reminder tells me that it will change such as the small green shoots that I see sticking up through the earth and then I say Ah! the promise of the change is coming. It is cold right now and there is snow and the coldness awakens me and my body and reminds me that I am alive. Thank you for a chance to begin a practice again.
Appreciating the weather with curiosity, means that instead of making the weather some-thing that determines my mood for the day, it is one of my many friends who I can look forward to greeting each day with curiosity; wondering just how I will be touched by it, spoken to, buffeted, comforted and moved.
This is one of the reasons I don’t generally check the weather forecast…because I don’t want to have the language used by forecasters as a basis for how I will greet the day and be in relationship with all that is out there waiting for me.
Instead, I sit here at my kitchen table, drinking my tea and looking at the trees that line my street…what might they have to tell me this morning?
Since I turned age 15, my life was blessed with the opportunity to learn to fly. It started on a Saturday morning, pretty early in the day, my awareness was limited, the joy of roaring down the runway, the passing terrain below overpowered my sensations of what the weather was, I just knew it was a little cool … later on as I became a professional pilot, my relationship with the weather greatly changed, we became inseparable, my knowledge of present conditions and forecasts became vital to the operations which would take me to vast far away places. The weather dictated the amount of fuel required and i n many cases, it simply took the opportunity away and we could not go. It also was responsible for demanding the most skill from me: a stiff cross wind or icy rainy runway or all of the above put me at the top of my game, or in the ditch. Bad weather was involved in the crashes and deaths of many of my friends. I learned to respect weather. I also knew the elementary reason for weather on earth: it is the unequal heating of the earth’s surfaces…now that ought to give you philosophers a spark to discuss its relationship to us. Namaste.
How I used to take granted of the weather and thought most of the time as a negative things as disrupted the plan when I did not have my own car, and had to got out then, and now I see the weather is a part of the condition of the life. Just to hear the rain drops, and the smell of the soil after a long drought, and hear the croak of the frogs, and I know, so many plant and trees are also waiting for the rain and the sun light, then I think how beautiful everything.
I live in the western part of New York state and I love the 4 distinct changes of seasons. Each season offers its unique beauty and type of weather. I take a walk outside almost everyday and I love seeing all the changes in nature, the trees, etc. that occur from season to season. Yesterday the temp. was in the teens and there was brilliant sunshine. The cold crisp air was so invigorating and it energized me! Thank-you God for this beautiful world, this beautiful life! Thank-you gratefulness.org for this practice!
Peace and blessings to all.??
I homestead on 27 acres and find living with and by the effects of weather allows me to understand I am part of not in charge of this life experience. As I observe the plants and animals interact with the weather I understand the need to live with not to attempt to oppose the elements and what they do but accept what they offer and say thank you.
Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves…
What if you discovered that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you…
An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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