in gratitude

Our Hudson Valley landscape is steeped in mysticism, and perhaps a touch of magic, especially at this time of year. There is mystery behind the starkness of bare trees bedding down their roots for the winter as swaths of  thick, dark clouds drape across the horizon. Then, magically, within time that is less than a moment, a patch of bright sun and blue sky punch their way through the metal-gray masses. We who live here marvel at the swiftness of what, at times, appears to be nothing less than a fantastic play of drama, wit, charm, and beauty, created to bewitch the soul.

As the days grow shorter, the great wonder of nature gradually wraps us into darkness. Color slowly fades and then retires completely from the landscape. Just a week ago on a back road between Catskill and Saugerties, I found an old farmstead where the view is expansive: the rolling cloud formations of dark-to-light and back again performed a silent sonata and the remaining color appeared almost as mere memory. The man who first placed a camera in my hand when he saw this image said, “the Buddha is always with you Lee Anne.” I did not know at first what he meant so I looked again at the image. Whether it is the Buddha, Higher Power, the Great Spirit, God or Goddess … there is some presence that resides in this landscape.

The Presence © 2010 Lee Anne Morgan

My Thanksgiving passed with quietude and simplicity. I gave gratitude for the blessings in my life: the bounty of beauty, health, well-being, good friends, the smiles on peoples’ faces, the God-given birthright of goodness in the human heart, the beloved animals who touch our souls, my family, their families, and more and more and more.


Life is short and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us, so be swift to love, swifter still to forgive, make haste to be kind.

May your blessings be manyfold and always, always seek out and observe the mystery, magic, and wonder that abounds even in the bare trees and colorless landscapes. You might just spot a bright red cardinal sitting on a brown, leafless branch illuminating that limb and your world with grace.