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My cat, Pixie, drives me nuts sometimes. A few weeks ago I had given her a fancy new feeder loaded with five pounds of automatically-dispensed-at-regular-intervals-so-that-she-never-had-an-empty-bowl yummy cat food. And here she was, standing at the empty old feeder, meowing pitifully as if I were starving her to death.
I picked her up and took her to the new feeder (for about the 20th time). She sniffed the food and started nibbling, looking up at me as if to say “Well, you finally fed me!” And yet, this abundance had been in front of her all the time.

A well-fed Pixie, hard at work editing my manuscript

A well-fed Pixie, hard at work editing my manuscript

Not only does Pixie frustrate me, she also teaches me. Watching her I began to wonder how often I go hungry, emotionally and spiritually, because I am looking toward empty feed bowls to fill me up instead of at the places where ample nourishment actually resides.

To test myself I started yesterday morning by making a list of all the ways I’ve recently felt nourished, happy or satisfied. I started with a “big” thing–by remembering my recent vacation in which I’d spent time with my entire family, including the three grandchildren who live across the country from me. “Spending time with you, your wife and your kids is deeply soul-satisfying for me,” I had told my oldest son as he enjoyed a rare, peaceful moment, swinging in a hammock beneath a green tree canopy. His ear to ear grin told me he appreciated my observation.

Then I moved on to the “little” things currently in my life. In my back yard I noticed the hummingbirds at the feeder I’d hung for them and the squirrel munching on the peanuts I’d laid out for him moments before. I love watching my backyard menagerie. I hugged my husband and asked how he felt. When he said he’d had a restful night I noticed that just weeks before he had been in the throes of a bad gastritis attack which kept him awake many nights in a row. What a welcome relief to hear that he had been pain free for the night. How satisfying to note that medication, life style changes and prayers for his healing had helped.

I kept on noticing and adding items, like how good my morning coffee tasted and how comfortable my bathrobe was, to my list. A few moments later I realized something. Once I turned my attention to looking for them, I found so many satisfying, nourishing or happy moments that it would have taken the rest of the day to record what I observed in just a few minutes of searching. I felt as if someone had picked me up and placed me in front of a large bowl of cat, uh, I mean, people treats.

How about you? What moments of nourishment can you find in your life today? Care to share them with us?

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August 2014