One Woman's Prayer of Appreciation
by Marlene Buffa
Every morning, I take a walk for a half hour. I usually follow the same route through my neighborhood and greet the same neighbors and dogs on their daily ritual, as well. I use my walk as a time of reflection and preparation for my day. I honor myself with time for prayer and gratitude so that my day begins with a focus and perspective which serves to buoy my spirit in the sea of rough water and tides of daily life. Rarely do I make frivolous requests of spirit, or even ask for guidance. Rather, I begin my day with gratitude by recounting all my blessings and inviting more good into my life.
Thank you God for my eyes. Let them remain clear and my sight true. I'm grateful that I see the full colors of springtime, the smiles of those people I encounter in my life and the panorama of this beautiful country. Also God, thank you for my vision. Beyond my physical sight, I thank you for my spiritual sight. I'm grateful for my ability to imagine and to see in my mind, all the things possible and not yet manifested; all the work I want to accomplish and all the abundance this life offers me. I'm grateful I can see-through misperceptions as well as take note of joy in observation. Thank you God for my optimism and strength and the natural inclination to see the half-full glass and know that life always works out.
My thanks to you, God, for my inward vision. I see my role in the world and I look inside of myself so I may clearly integrate your gifts into life surrounding me. My inner focus allows me to grow stronger as I take note of my truth and recognize all the talents and abilities God instilled in me. Here, as I look inward, I acknowledge all that I see with grace and realism. I accept my strengths and take note of my weaknesses knowing that this self-actualized telescope serves to embolden my observation and allows me to reach for the stars inside of who I am.
Thank you, God for my ears. Sounds of nature float on the wind into my range of hearing, only to repeat in my mind over and over so that I can relive and enjoy the earth's expression. I'm grateful for hearing a pin drop as well as lightning strike. I'm grateful to hear music and laughter and animal-speak. I appreciate the comforting sounds of my friends' voices, as the tonal familiarity provides love and comfort from close and far away. I remember the voices of loved ones passed on and the resonance of their spirits engulf me with a vibration of memories, both fond and precious.
Even more, thank you God for my ability to listen intently to life and hear in the still small voice of my heart, your whisper of truth for me. God, your voice inside me protects me from harm, serves as my intuition and brings me comfort in times of strife. Thank you, thank you for allowing me to hear you as my soul grows ever mindful of the sound of my life's heartbeat.
When I breathe in the aromas of life around me, I thank my Creator for my sense of smell. Smell, the unspoken and invisible travel guide and memory evoker, provides me with my positioning in life with every inhalation. I enjoy the spring blossoms, the impending storm, the waft of baking cookies and I breathe life in deeply through the filters of scent. In addition to olfactory sensations, smells also bring us awareness of the presence of life around us. From the favorite perfume of a passerby lingering the air, to the warning smells of a gas leak, I thank God for the window of smells which enable me to experience the past, present and future in one elementary sensory input. Smells touch our memories by reminding us of our youth and return us to a time of security and familiarity with an emotional impact.
Thank you God as well, for my ability to discern life's ups and downs. From "smelling a rat" to stopping to smell the roses, I accept that life operates out of the unseen beyond what appears as true. With this discriminating ability, I trust that life poses a more aromatic experience so that I can fully enjoy a sense of understanding and intuition.
Perhaps the most enjoyable sense is that of taste. We remember how food tastes and yearn to enjoy it over and over again. Thank you God for responsive taste buds so that I may experience the robust flavors of your bounty. From bitter to sweet, sour or salty, I lavish a palette of flavors on my palate! I'm grateful I eat foods that taste good and are good for me.
Even more, thank you God for the panache of personal taste! Often we identify others by the style of their personality they choose to present to the world. Taste, or flair, or personal charisma, our choices speak loudly to our self-consideration. Our taste in fashion, color, style and even the company we keep, loudly eludes our sense of individuality and confidence in the choices in our lives.
We can want something so much we can taste it, or something may leave a bad taste in our mouths. Assuredly, our sense of taste affords us a richer interaction with our life experience through a ripened appreciation of a well-lived life.
Our body's largest organ, the skin welcomes the touch of another with thousands of nerve endings responding accordingly. Thank you, God for my marvelously profound armor that both protects my spirit and reacts lovingly to life. As I often take my touch for granted when my body carries me down the street, I thank God I can feel the impact of the hard pavement beneath my shoes. I'm grateful for the wind brushing against my cheek and my hair tickling my forehead. These alarmingly small interactions with life bless us with sensual enlightenment as we know, for certainty, we are of this world and in it.
And God, I'm grateful for my loving heart. I'm so happy to react with sentimentality and emotion when I allow loving experiences to blush into my life. Sometimes life grazes me with wisps of change and other times profound spiritual bruising occurs when I resist a life lesson. Thank you, thank you for a grateful heart that continues to be touched by the miracles of life around me and basks in the sunlight of the Universe.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language defines lagniappe as: NOUN: An extra or unexpected gift or benefit.
Thank you God for the "little something extra" you give me every moment of every day! My intuition mellows my fears and guides me through tough times and provides me with accurate hunches. Thank you for my cognizance of the world I live in and the recognition of the beauty of time spent alive and well.
When you flow with appreciation, you live an abundant life through observations of vision, reverberations of the mechanics of life, aromas of evidence of things newly released, the taste of the good life and the touch of the human spirit.