Today was a day of mindfulness.

Mindfully listening to rain platsch upon rain.

Mindfully communicating with family and friends.

Mindfully communing with family, friends, and strangers whose lives have been twirled into uncertainty and anxiety. Mindfully holding them close in my heart.

Mindfully chopping vegetables.

Mindfully giving thanks for a simple meal that would surely seem to some as a banquet beyond measure.

Mindfully savoring this simple meal and the luxury of having the time to eat mindfully.

Mindfully washing dishes.

Mindfully wondering why we fail to make time for mindfulness under the normal circumstances of normal circumstances.

Mindfully settling at my desk with the intention of practicing my not-so-emerging Morse Code skills, but becoming not-so-mindfully distracted by Facebook.

In the midst of all the dire news on Facebook, I found cheer in a post that perfectly fit my mindful mood. Namely, our friends at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh had shared a poem by Pablo Neruda- an ode to the artichoke. Our friends at the Jesuit Retreat House had further invited all of us to name the fruit or vegetable to which we would write an ode – or even to write the ode itself. And so, mindfully, I wrote an ode of gratitude for the blessing of one of my favorite foods:

Acorn squash, we greet thee!
Round, but sometimes pointy, and always perfect in the imperfect unpredictability of your shape: you delight the eye!
Green, but sometimes orange, sometimes mottled, and always perfect in the imperfect unpredictability of your color: you compound the eye’s delight!
Hollowed out and filled with savory or sweet, always perfect in the unpredictability of your various flavors: you delight the palate!
Full of seeds, skin, and flesh that nourish: you delight and uplift the whole of our being!
Acorn squash, we eat thee!

Mindfully giving thanks for the simple blessings of another simple day.

Deo Gratias!