Opinion submission by Melissa Martin, Ph.D., a syndicated opinion-editorial columnist.
As soon as my eyes open each morning, I give thanks for the air going in and out of my lungs. Another day – I am alive. God still has a purpose for this timeworn gal. So, I pray for my family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and humans around the globe; some I know and most I don’t know.
My spouse next to me is alive but he works the night shift so the mornings belong to me and my dog. Yes, I am thankful to have the undisturbed mornings to myself.
Maya accompanies me here and there and everywhere. She is named after Maya Angelou, a lady of great courage and talent. My other dog died last year – a seizure disorder and serious medications took her doggie life too early, so thanks for Maya. We are both aging and graying females with arthritis setting in. I can still see, hear, smell, touch, taste, walk, and talk so thanks is given. And my brain still works – mostly.
Thanks given for indoor plumbing, toilet paper, and soap because there are other humans that go without. Lack of toilet tissue was a top story during the global lockdown.
Morning coffee with thanks for clean water and electricity to use the coffeepot. Oatmeal with fresh fruit in season, dried cranberries, raisins, and nuts mixed in. With the incoming food shortages and supply chain issues, edibles will become scarce – so I savor the flavor. People around the globe are already experiencing the results of the pandemic aftermath and the games of the wealthy and powerful puppets masters of both sovereign and communist countries. Water and food are requirements for life.
Morning meditation with yoga and focused breathing prepares me for the day. In January, I read the 2020 book, “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art” by James Nestor. The way I perceived breathing was forever changed. I’ve trained my brain to pay attention to my body and stay in the here-and-now and not meander in memories. Thoughts, reflections, and worries over suffering humanity are not welcome during meditation.
Gratitude for my porch and the morning sunlight while sipping coffee and watching feathered friends at the birdfeeders. A few squirrels and a lone chipmunk scurry around and grab sunflower seeds.
The air conditioner kicks on, but instead of cursing the noise, I give thanks for the coolness it brings in the summer heat. The media, buzzing with energy issues, warns of future power outages. Humans need cooling and heating.
Strolling through my shade garden brings a smile and serenity. Being semi-retired has brought more hours in my created backyard paradise filled with trees, plants, and flowers. Grateful for butterflies, pollenating bugs, and toads.
It rained yesterday and my small veggie garden looks refreshed. Thanks is given as a few cucumbers are plucked from the vine.
Seconds, minutes, and morning hours have passed. Time to go to work or time to write or time to do daily chores. Routine provides stability for humans, especially children.
But my mind wanders about happenings both near and far.
Prior to the coronavirus, I took freedom and civil liberties for granted – because I live in America. “My country tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing.” A patriotic hymn written by Samuel Smith. The Great Reset (aka New World Order) threatens global democracy. Prayers go up for the citizens in the USA. Prayers go up for Canadian citizens. Prayers go up for citizens of all countries because a desire for freedom is embedded in each human heart.
Checking the Internet for news about the Dutch farmers in the Netherlands, the people of Sri Lanka, the Russian-Ukraine conflict, increases my heart rate and shallows my breathing. Whirling winds of worry wait for an invitation. Fear can easily feed on rumination.
However, my mind goes to my favorite memorized scriptures from the Bible. God sets on the King’s throne. God is commander-in-chief of spiritual soldiers. God’s agenda for the USA and all the countries on the planet will come to pass. God’s plan is legitimate peace.
And I am thankful. An attitude of gratitude is my daily desire.
“Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright, With freedom's holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King.”
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is a syndicated opinion-editorial columnist. She lives in the Tri-State area of OH, KY, WV.