PIZZAZZ – Gratitude

By Kathleen Mailliard Solmssen

San Francisco – California







Photograph by Peter Solmssen. San Francisco



And That’s PIZZAZZ




They had never EVER seen the ocean. As her van ascended the final hill from the interior of Mexico, they nearly FLEW out of the van and into the waves!  Laughing and crying simultaneously while exploding with pure innocent joy, my friend’s “house helpers” danced and twirled through the salt water – forgetting they were wearing their maid’s dresses and shoes.  This magical event brought my pal into total tears.


Because we grew up with a summer house at the shore, I guess I’ve always taken the ocean for granted.  I guess I’ve taken a lot of sensual awarenesses for granted.  The complex perfection of a single leaf, a single leaf that only you may ever see.  Imagine the extreme beauty of a sweet tiny bird.  Brings to mind the splendid taste and unique texture of one single tiny raisin.  An egg,yes! In-and-out of its shell.  A simple, yet extraordinary egg.


In recent years, a shameful number of nature’s divine gifts have been sequestered to the back burners of our lives.  Without thanks or even respect necessary, their exquisite beauty always has and always will be there for our enjoyment and pleasure,gratis.  No cost. Free for all to enjoy.


Perhaps, with so many time-saving devices within reach, we never seem to have the time for simple pleasures.  Experiencing shortness of breath, over-booked calendars and living at marathon paces.  We can’t even consider slowing down as an option.  Quieting the mind? Out of the question.  Meditation?  You’ve got to be kidding me.  Tree hugging? Now that’s a joke…or is it?  Perhaps, on a daily basis, the intentional act of slowing down, looking really looking around at mother-earth’s-nature surrounding us can be a life-altering gift.


For me, when it’s “lights out” and my head hits the pillow, my whirlwind of a merry-go-round mind WON’T slow down.


A few nights ago, just as my head hit the pillow, I said to myself, “I am in charge of my mind!”  Next, I felt a golden ball in my head, traveling down to my toes & back up to my quiet brain.  After two or less rounds of quick “golden brain ball”, I was deliciously fast asleep. Each morning I repeat with a gentle force, “I am in charge of my thoughts”.  Tendeep “empty-minded” breaths before the challenges of the day start “braiding my brain”.


My pace is perfect as is the day!  


On to tipping head while saying “hello” with a grateful smile on my face to the world!


Now that’s PIZZAZZ!



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