It was one of those picture perfect days.
Temps in the high 70s - so unusual for August in New Jersey, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky, a light breeze. As soon as I could escape the office, I slipped behind the wheel of my car and headed out to pick up a friend. Earlier in the day we had made plans to take a walk along the D&R canal towpath just a few minutes from her apartment.
The canal water's surface was broken only by the occasional fish jumping for an insect dinner or mallard family paddling by. A gaggle of Canadian geese on the far bank dined on golf course greens, and a lone heron flapped his large, grey wings and lifted off and out of sight. Bicycle riders passed us from behind and several dogs...a black lab, boxer, and bulldog were out walking their owners.
A little farther down the path a man and woman came walking toward us with their young son. As we passed and greeted each other I said "good morning" instead of saying "hi" or "good evening" since it was already almost 6. As soon as I realized my mistake, I laughed and said "Oh boy, I guess I don't know what time it is!" At the same time, the woman started laughing and pointed toward the man "He always says good morning!". Her husband chimed in "It's true. Morning, noon or night, I always say good morning. I figure this way. If I wake up, I'm blessed, so it's a good morning. The rest is just extra."
Who knew I'd find wisdom on the towpath?
To wake up to a brand new day is a blessing, and every minute I'm given after that is just icing on the cake...while I know that's a wonderful way to look at each day, I confess I'm not always grateful each time I open my eyes. Illness, lack of sleep, lousy weather, problems and stresses left over from the day before can all lead me to utter more of an "ugh" than a "thanks for another day, Lord".
Then again, sometimes I wake up feeling fine, but as the day drags on, a bad attitude creeps in and makes its way to the surface. How different might each day be if I paused here and there to reflect on the gift of all the added minutes I'd been given since waking up? Better yet, what if I used those pauses to say "good morning" and readjust that bad attitude?
With each passing moment I have another choice to embrace the good and let go of the bad.
So "good morning" to you no matter what time it is, and I challenge you to appreciate your 'extra'!