It’s not unusual for me to have a song looping through my brain. Earworms are  a common phenomenon; a song gets stuck in our heads  long after we hear it.  They are pesky and resistant.

 Folks report that an  earworm will niggle away at their senses day and night. My earworms are usually a lyric from  The Eagles, Rod Stewart,  Jackson  Browne, or other music from that era .   

My daily walk takes me to the bay.  This is my quiet time—a time to hang  out with myself.  Quiet time is as  essential to me as flowers need water to bloom.  A beautiful fall day a couple of weeks ago was no exception.  

The trees were awash in red and gold. The bay  and the sky were azure blue.  The cumulus clouds overhead looked like floating white pillows. As I looked across the bay, a little earworm made itself known:

“Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.”  

 This lyric is the refrain of a hymn titled: For the Beauty of the Earth.  These words kept floating around my brain for a week, so much so, that it caused me to give pause.

I wondered how many times a day do I stop and give thanks, if at all?  The biggies like:  A clean bill of health, a new car, kids settled, grandchildren’s  love, a healthy relationship are easily recognizable and reasons to be thankful or should be.  

Here’s the rub:  How often do I recognize  the seemingly small intangible gifts that  I stumble upon?  I challenged myself ( I love a challenge)  to stay awake and practice mindfulness.  I was curious to see what goodies awaited me, if any.  I began to make notations in a notebook  the next day. 

Upon awaking, a beautiful sunrise greeted me.

My breakfast  coffee tasted extra delicious.  

After being cranky the day before, my washing machine behaved.

The  words “I love you, cutie” brought happy tears to my eyes.

A bad hair day turned into a good hair day, thanks to a scrunchie.

Luca and Nova, my grandbabies Facetimed me. (This gift was recognizable)

I immediately found a parking space in the gym parking lot. 

The gym was  crowded; however, I ran into a favorite gal-pal. We chatted breathlessly side by side while walking on our treadmills.  The three miles to nowhere flew by. 

While driving home, I heard one of my favorite songs and sang enthusiastically with the radio.  (The windows were closed.)

I laughed uproariously when I received a silly GIF text from my sister.

My workday schedule was doable. 

I was treated to a luscious home cooked dinner. 

I finally got to watch the end of a television series  without falling asleep.  

Compline (end of day prayers) seemed so much sweeter.

I realized how much I loved my bed.

In one day, my  notebook held a treasure trove of gifts!   Jackie Gleason’s trademark was “How Sweet It Is.”  I add  “How True It Is.” Life is full of little gifts that can keep us buoyant during the ordinary days.

 We humans seem to wait for the big events to manifest in our lives—I get it.   But while mindfully waiting, we may discover that every day is chock-full of gifts Maybe things aren’t that hot for you.  Perhaps you have not only one bad hair day but a series of bad days, months,  or years.  Yup,  been there too.

In a couple of weeks, many of us will be sitting around a bountiful  thanksgiving table  with those we love, or some we merely tolerate.   In many families, mine included,  this  lovely tradition takes place:  Starting at the head of the table  everyone  in turn will name something or someone they are most thankful for in their lives. 

We will eat, drink,  and make merry, even with the person we merely  tolerate.   Perhaps the feeling of gratefulness begins to wane by the end of the day. Our bellies are bloated, a headache may be threatening and we drift into a food coma. Thanksgiving is over.

But what about the next day or the rest of the year?  Folks, imagine if we collectively gave thanks for all we forget are gifts?  Imagine the positive energy that we would be sending out into the universe? Imagine being floored by the sheer beauty of our ordinary lives?

 Are you up for a challenge?  Yes, good.   Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and open your heart to the feeling of gratitude.   Perhaps, then,  the earworm that was  playing in my brain can be manifest in all our lives.  


“For the beauty  of the earth for the beauty of the skies,

For the love which from our birth, Over and around us lies,

Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour  of  the day and of the night.

Hill, vale, tree, and flower, sun and moon and stars of light.

Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, brother sister parent child.

Friends on earth and friends above, for all gentle thoughts and mild.

 Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of gentle praise” 

The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family-owned operation. You rely on us to stay informed, and we depend on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to bring this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.

Avatar photo
Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in 'retirement' — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.