To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything God has given us – and God has given us everything…. Gratitude, therefore, takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.
~ Thomas Merton
The slower pace of summertime, I find, lends itself to a deepened sense of gratitude. Some of that arises simply from a break in the daily rhythms of life that comes with the season – trips and adventures, family reunions, expansive vistas along the seashore or from a mountaintop, an extended Sabbath rest from the usual routines of life. Longer days seem to spark an inner light and lightness of being that allow me to linger over the beauty of hydrangeas blooming at every turn, the birds feasting and flying around the yard, the fresh herbs overflowing their containers and the promise of green tomatoes on the vine. Summer just naturally invites grateful mindfulness for the gifts of life in the beauty of God’s creation.