I start every Friday in the same way. I wake up to the sun pouring into my window and get a glimpse of the beautiful blue skies through the blinds. I take a moment for my senses to awaken. I then give thanks for the day, and head for the kettle. Last Friday was an exceptionally beautiful day, and after I made my tea, I took headed to my back porch.
It’s a calming area, with cool, grey stone pavers and a small fountain filled with irises on the side. Fruit trees dip low, almost to the ground, and the cool California morning makes the steam roll off of my tea perfectly.
Every morning, I open up iTunes and find new music to listen to while I wait for the caffeine to kick in so I can start working. Last Friday, I was particularly excited as I came to see that Daley released his second album “Spectrum.”
As the music drifted through my speakers, I instantly I fell in love with every aspect of it—the voice, the lyrics, the production quality—but as I let myself seep into the sound, I noticed that the album made me feel something completely different.
A wave of gratitude came over me. I could feel it physically almost. I usually try to find the positives in every situation, but let’s be real. We are all complex and some days can just really take a toll on us. Financial struggles, relationship issues, career frustrations, past hurts, or simply just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, can cause interruptions to gratitude.
But that morning, as I listened to Daley, my mind began to travel down a path of deep gratitude. I looked around me and started to become grateful for the things I have. My IPhone, speaker, coffee, house, and even wifi connection. Awareness extended to my hands, warmed against the cool morning by my tea, and I was grateful for the cup that someone had to manufacture, the tea leaves someone had to pick. I began to dig deeper into my thoughts on what it took to get everything to this exact point. I even became grateful for the milk in my coffee. For the cow that had made the milk, the farm itself and its workers, the delivery people, the store where I’d purchased it.
Like a road with no off-ramps, my heart took me on a journey through everything involved in creating that perfect morning. My revelry lasted for an hour, and in that time my tea grew cold. I could barely move as I considered how connected we all are, how we rely on each other for everything, and most of the time, we don’t even notice it. I keep seeing that in the simplest of our everyday lives, not only are we sometimes massively ungrateful, but we often forget that we are connected to everything and that’s where the appreciation should lie. Most of the time, we are angry when we don’t have something we are used to having—wifi, air conditioning, coffee. Isn’t that the problem? Becoming used to something can lead us to ungratefulness.
As a musician, I enjoy appreciating other’s music. I like to know what the trend is, what others are coming up with. After listening to Daleys album, I became grateful that he had nurtured his talent and creativity and expressed it to the world. I was grateful to the musician who played on the album, to the designers, to his label for bringing it to market, to the pain and experiences, high and lows he went through to create such a beautiful piece of work. Even though I don’t know his story, I am grateful for the lives he was able to touch through his music. I was able to sit on my porch, with a cup of tea, and consume, even relish in, his very personal experiences that he has managed to write and express into a beautiful work of art.