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I am grateful for this tiny bee among the apple blossom,

Without this bee there would be no blossom and without the blossom , no apple.

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Around the time I bought my yellow bicycle, a friend gave me a gift of a book.

The name of the book was ‘Simple Abundance’ ,

It was a thick book but one which I could dip in and out of easily, so, despite it’s size it was not too overwhelming.

This was just as well since I was spending so much time out on my new bicycle that I had very little time for serious reading.

In fact I haven’t dipped into it for some time so I couldn’t place my hand on it at a moments notice,

But I still continue to practice one of the exercises suggested by the author Sarah Ni Breathnach :

Every morning without fail I write a list of things I am grateful for.

(She suggested five and I started out with that number).

My list initially included big things like family and finances and health and of course my bicycle but gradually I noticed that smaller things were creeping in.

Soon I passed the ‘five’ mark as my cup of home-made cappuccino in the morning appeared on my list.

The fact that I had a day off and didn’t have to rush out to work appeared on my list.

The flower’s,

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The light working at the flick of a switch ,

Hot water coming out of the tap.

The beauty of the sky,

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The sound of the birds,

A butterfly landing beside me on a bush,

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The rain which brought this mornings rainbow.

The wind, the sun, the warmth, the cold….

Even my job appeared on my list.

I began to realise when I was grateful for tiny things I paid more heed to them and soon I was taking nothing for granted.

I began to feel sorry for people who would say. ‘oh I hope it’s sunny today’

Because now, in my mind ,whether it was sunny, cloudy or even rainy, it was all wonderful.

Hadn’t I a cosy roof to shelter me if it rained, didn’t the sun warm my back if the sun shone, Hadn’t I a warm jumper if it was cold and blustery.

I reprimanded two porters on a very busy day at the hospital because their conversation went like this…

”are ye busy?’ asked one

‘yea’ the other answered ‘but at least it makes the day fly’

‘Why would you want to make the day fly’ I demanded.

They didn’t answer, just looked down at their feet and made a ”she’s mad” sign behind my back.

Then one morning I added ‘I am grateful for being happy’ .

I put down my pen and frowned at the sheet of paper in front of me…

Was I grateful for being happy OR was it more a case of …Am I happy because I’m grateful?

I pondered over this for a few day’s , then Googled  ‘gratefulness’

And came up with this man.

I had my answer…

Gratefulness brings happiness.

But I didn’t stop there.

I went further with my thought’s and considerings.

Cycling the yellow bicycle, my feet turning the pedals, my brain calming, I stopped at an old bridge and looked down into the water far below.

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It had rained and the stream which was usually a gentle flow was now a torrent, rushing and sweeping everything along in it’s path.

‘That was me’ I thought. ‘rushing headlong through life dragging all my problems with me, crashing and smashing into anything that got in my way’.

Ah yes , My diagnosis!

Nature had observed my wild behaviour for a while and then tried to warn me by giving me a tap on my shoulder.

‘Slow down’ it said.

But I didn’t listen!

So nature said ‘well I’m sorry, time for drastic measure’s then.  I am going to give you something that will make you stop and listen’.

And so it did and oh how it stopped me in my tracks! and all those frivolous things which were once so important now became little speck’s of silliness.

I stopped all that heedlessly stressful rushing and racing, and became calm, and I pedalled thoughtfully and constantly and meditatively

And one day I looked at my poor scarred body and my hair dry and brittle from treatment and I said

‘Oh dear! this is all my fault! but I’ve learnt my lesson, I will take care of myself from now on’.

and I made friends with my cancer

and I stopped thinking of it as a ‘bad ‘thing but rather as something which had to happen to make me see sense.

And (mad those this might seem) became grateful for it.

‘Grateful for your cancer!’ A friend exclaimed later when I told her my theory ,her mouth dropping open in disbelief.

‘How odd’ exclaimed another.

‘You are quite mad’ said another and in a whispered voice suggested I have a brain scan.

Needless to say I have added these friends to my ‘gratefulness’ list.

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