The key to gratitude is in a morning walk

This week I’ve rediscovered the cleansing power of a morning walk.

We’ve been having chilly mornings here, foggy and dewy – the perfect conditions to bundle up the baby in the stroller and head out.


If I ever find myself ungrateful for what I have, which is quite often, a morning walk keeps me in check.

We move next week, and I’m very much looking forward to living in a downtown neighborhood for many reasons. But for a few more days, I am enjoying these rural walks.

The smell of eucalyptus trees is stronger in the morning. I remember camping on the coast near Santa Barbara as a child and feeling intoxicated by the smell of crushed eucalyptus leaves under my bare feet. And now I live in an area where I can smell them everyday! I am so blessed.

A twisting aged eucalyptus.

A twisting, aged eucalyptus tree.

Then I pass a grove of aromatic pepper trees behind a pretty white fence and I breathe deeply again. The stuff I’m anxious about (which is almost everything) doesn’t seem so important.


A weeping California pepper tree.

Lately, I’ve whined about being cheated out of a good autumn here. After living in Boston for two years, these mild California seasons feel dull and unexciting. I grew up in California, but a place in the mountains where we jumped in the river to cool off in the summer and loaded up with firewood to stay warm in the winter. Where we live now is in a valley, 13 miles from the coast, so our seasons are kind of like pretend seasons.

But instead of complaining, I’m choosing to drink in the little hints of fall wherever I can. Morning walks are good for that.

morning walk fence

Not many rituals can be enjoyed across generations AND species. But the simple morning walk is just as special for me as it is for my almost-10-month-old and our wiener dog. There is something humbling about that.

The morning walk helps me stay grateful for all the beauty in my life. I cleanse my mind, recalibrate my priorities, and then can return to my day with a renewed purpose and energy. Plus it makes Baby G sleepy enough for her morning nap, which gives me time to write, or put a bra on, or whatever.

Sometimes the morning walk is the only chance I have to get out all day, depending on how Baby G’s naps go, etc. You mamas know how that is; I don’t need to explain. So this way, at the end of the day, I will have at least ventured outside.



Do you take a morning walk? What rituals do you find help you stay grateful for your life?



  1. Paula W on October 25, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Walks are such a blessing. I am totally with you, they are great for getting you out of a funk. Baby seems happier, and as for our dog, lets just say getting his energy out helps keep him out of trouble the rest of the day. Love the posts. Keep them coming!!

  2. Elizabeth@MyGladHeart on October 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Hi! I’m stopping by (a little late) from the Joyful Life blog hop. And I wanted to let you know I was following you!

    First off, those pictures are gorgeous! I try not to be ungrateful for where we live, which is in the middle of a cornfield in NE, but it’s hard sometimes. I grew up in ND, out in the country on rolling plains. It was beautiful and you could see for miles. Now, it’s literally just corn. Ha! But we do love to go for afternoon walks, right after lunch. It’s just so refreshing.

    • creatingmom on October 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Nebraska corn fields… They have a beauty of their own… But yes, it might be a little more hard to appreciate it some days. Thanks for the follow! Hope you keep reading and joining in the conversation.

  3. Nancy on October 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Ah, these photos make me feel so peaceful – I can see why you love these morning walks! I need to follow your lead and do this more often, especially with winter heading our way sooner than I would like!! 🙂

    • creatingmom on October 28, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Yes before we know it we’ll be grumbling about winter…Must seize the moment! I am very blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world.

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