Beauty and Blessings in Small Things

May 15, 2024 by Gayle M Irwin
The simple grace of Sego Lillies can be breathtaking. Photo by G. Irwin

During the past few weeks, I’ve come to more deeply appreciate the small things of life, things often taken for granted. For more than a week, I was down with a major cold, which kept me on the couch, weary and sleepy, while taking all kinds of over-the-counter medications. The lesson? Appreciate good health. Even the smallest, not-so-grave sickness can knock a person for a loop and so being thankful for not being sick is at the top of my gratitude list this week.

Mother’s Day took place last weekend, and I was able to spend the day with my parents. We went for a nature drive and saw hawks, pronghorn, elk, and bighorn sheep. Not only am I grateful for the opportunity to view nature out my car window, I’m also grateful to have both parents still living and living close enough to spend the special days, like Mother’s Day, with them.


My parents, our picnic. Photo by G. Irwin

This weekend my parents and I are going to a ranch owned by friends of ours. It’s been more than a year since we’ve been there together, and more than three months since I traveled and stayed there (weather played a significant role in those delays). Excitement wells up as I think about the beauty of springtime at this place, from deep-green pastures filled with livestock to doe deer and their fawns sauntering past the house. This is one of the places I go to write stories, and although my parents will be with me, there will still be quiet times to work on new books and articles. The tranquility of this place soothes my soul, and the friendship and family time shared with special people warms my heart.


Animals at the ranch. Photo by G. Irwin

Last weekend I experienced my first sighting of the Northern Lights. The light show in the night sky mesmerized me! I stood in awe as waves of white, green, and rose flickered above and around me. The dazzling dance filled with awe – and gratitude.


Aurora borealis, north of Casper WY  Photo by G. Irwin

Last year I wrote and published a children’s book titled Sadie the Smiling Spaniel: Finding Joy in the Little Things of Life. Our liver-and-white, 12-year-old springer spaniel was known for her smile and her joyful demeanor. She loved being outdoors, chasing butterflies and squirrels and just simply running through the yard. She loved being indoors, snuggling with her people on the couch and spending time with our other dog, a shih tzu named Jeremiah. Sadie exuded joy and love, and her zest for life positively impacted my husband and me, particularly helping me more greatly appreciate all those little things I’ve mentioned … and more. Including being thankful for Sadie and the joy she brought to our lives.


Sadie, the Smiling Springer Spaniel  Photo by G. Irwin

As summer approaches, I anticipate the feelings of gratitude, awe, and joy to continue. A family vacation to the Oregon Coast. Weekends and evenings at our mountain cabin. Walks with my dog, and more time being with and helping my parents. More articles and books to write and booksignings and other author events to attend. Flowers blooming, birds singing. Nature photography treks to embark upon and friends with whom to enjoy conversations and laughter. Beauty and blessings in the small – and large – aspects of life – we don’t have to look very far to find them.


Sadie's story - Book Cover