4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Mallards in the Morning

Yes, 5:30 AM is a bit early to be out walking. And let me tell you this: the birds are singing so sweetly at that hour, the air is cool and fresh and damp, the pink in the sky is soft, and Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are cautiously paddling about in the water, sending ripples of contentment through the moon reflection. Ah, this is a delightful time to walk–in the quiet morning, before human noises encroach, I am able to engage in a mindfulness practice that invites all my senses to participate.

I smell the richness of spring: damp earth, sweetness of the wildflowers, strong sage aroma, wet grasses; I see the sunrise, the soft green of the tender oak leaves, the white of the dogwood flower, the deep purple of the lupine; I feel the cool morning air and the gentle breeze; I hear the birds and am able to differentiate a few special songs; and I taste, metaphorically speaking, the delicious flavors of the morning: gratitude, joy, and reverence.

The Mallards return every year–that they become eternal mates is endearing–to bring new life to the world. They are very timid, aware of their precarious situation in the forest, and do not let me or Grace get too close, which makes that that much more precious to me. I walk, I reflect, I feel my heart filling with calm peacefulness and my mind quietly savoring the details of this ordinary magnificence.

What has brought you joy and calm on this glorious morning?

"After thirty years of eating healthy foods and participating in regular, vigorous exercise, I was astounded to discover I have Coronary Artery Disease. In March of 2010, I had two stents placed in my Left Anterior Descending Artery- this was big. I consulted Robin Mallery, RN, knowing she is a local expert on Cardiac Rehabilitation. I especially respected her lifestyle of nutrition and physical fitness. Robin’s reassurance that I was doing many things correctly, and her instructions on how to fine-tune my program to deal with this life-threatening disease, was invaluable. Robin’s exquisite grasp of balancing traditional medicine with diet, exercise, relaxation and fun has helped me through this medical crisis". --Maiya Gralia, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and cross-country ski instructor and coach

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