Always Be Grateful

//Always Be Grateful

Always Be Grateful

“The sun’s gonna shine, ooh, ooh, it’s true
‘Cause I can always be grateful” Jewel

The sun is gonna shine. Have you noticed? While us humans scramble to figure out how to deal with this pandemic, Mother Nature just, la-di-da-di-dah, continues to tick items off her spring To Do list. A cousin wrote on FB: “You go out for a walk and the air is fresh, birds are singing, flowers are coming up and trees are in bud. You look around and you would never know anything is wrong.”

Except when you look at the man-made stuff: playgrounds wrapped in caution tape, mall parking lots empty, downtown stores boarded up. One of the comments on my cousin’s FB post: “Mother Nature knows how to go on without us humans . . . hopefully that isn’t what she has in mind at this particular time though!”

A most humbling message, huh? We need Earth. Earth does not need us.

Something to keep in mind, if/when we eventually get around to addressing Climate Change. While we may do it for ourselves, and a multitude of unfortunate species we’ve adversely affected along the way, we mustn’t kid ourselves. We’re not doing it for the planet. The planet is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old. Humans? Mere babies at 200,000 years.

We’ve been fruitful and multiplied though: seven times in just the last 200 years, from one billion to over seven billion! You can just imagine Mother Nature thinking from time to time, If only I could get these seven billion monkeys off my back.

Coronavirus has forced us monkeys to halt in place, temporarily, giving Her body and lungs a sweet reprieve. But this reset is due to economic and human distress, right? Inger Andersen, head of the UN Environmental Programme, in an article for “has cautioned against viewing this as a boon for the environment”. When we finally get to check out and also leave “Hotel California”? We should take a good long look at how we do things, in a way I’m sure young environmental activist Greta Thunberg would approve of, and in complete opposition to the way some world leaders operate.

Writes Andersen, “And as the engines of growth begin to rev up again, we need to see how prudent management of nature can be part of this ‘different economy’ that must emerge, one where finance and action fuel green jobs, green growth and a different way of life, because the health of people and the health of the planet are one and the same, and both can thrive in equal measure.”

Green. The answer is green, but not money. Creation should be the new currency.

Listening to an interview with Jewel on Sirius XM’s Volume the other day, I was introduced to her website, an “emotional fitness destination”, where the anxiety-ridden can find tools for anxiety reduction.

Since this is such an anxiety-inducing time, let’s look at Jewel’s way of calming it. With anxiety, fight-or-flight mode, your heart rate speeds up and essentially shuts down your brain. You’re in survival mode. Contraction. The opposite is dilation. Openness. Jewel recommends getting really observant. Curious. Take a good long look at what is going on around you, take in the details. This brings you into a mindful state in which anxiety cannot exist.

Add in a dash of gratefulness? You’re well on your way to feeling better. I recently chatted with my gfs on our weekly get-together – I call it Zoom Gabba-Gabba – and we pointed out all the things we have to be grateful for: friends bringing food, random acts of kindness we see when we venture out, and time to read, workout and be creative.

With my creative time, I’ve been taking art lessons with my sister-in-law on Zoom. One of our recent subjects was the luna moth, so named because it’s nocturnal, but also it has moon-like spots. I personally have never seen a luna moth – some say they’re not so much rare as secretive, while others believe they’re threatened by pesticide use, pollution, and loss of habitat.

They are stunningly beautiful. And they have much to offer us in terms of messaging at this time. According to, they “live for only about a week, their sole purpose – besides beauty – being to mate before dying”. Ok, we live longer than a week, but in the grand scheme of things? We don’t really live that long. We’ve figured out the mating part; perhaps we’re also here to appreciate beauty?

The luna moth, like any transformative insect, is a harbinger of change. The anticipation of it, active or passive. Again, from, “Either change your life, or your life will be changed”.

Our lives were changed by this pandemic. Passive. Actively, let’s do what we can to change our lives for the better when it loosens its grip.

Website picture: A gorgeous water colour luna moth as painted by my art teacher Hilary Slater I’m not sharing my latest attempt as it resembles a giant squashed puke-coloured manta ray.








  1. Leslie Blumas April 16, 2020 at 10:36 am - Reply

    Inspiring. Thanks Rita

  2. Hilaryslater1 April 16, 2020 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Thank you Rita! I hit depression yesterday and drowned in it last night .. dragging Ray into my vortex .. it terrifies him when he can’t fix me..
    So I went on TED talks and found some great Depression talks .. like repair recipe is basic: Take a 20 min walk daily, eat more omega 3 and 6’s
    Sleep well,
    Hang out with friends more
    And today I followed the recipe and the day has turned out better.. plus your blog! Thank you 🙂 🙏

    • Rita Hartley April 16, 2020 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Glad to hear the blog could be of some help! It’s a tough time and we must come up with novel (like the virus!) routines to handle things. A daily 20 min walk is a good one! Eat well, sleep well. And like Jewel, when you feel that heart pumping, go into observation mode. Xo

  3. jane kennedy April 17, 2020 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    loving reading Rita, thanks!

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