Today I went hiking at a park I had never visited before. As we strolled along the water’s edge of a beautiful lake, I became disgusted with the water bottles, beer cans and plastic bags that had been left behind by my fellow humans, and for a brief time, my mood was ruined. It was “their” fault!

As I write this I can almost hear my longtime mentor and friend Dr. Mark Howard saying that a new thought will occur to you, and you will see more.

The new thought was, if it bothers you, pick it up! I had a bag with me, clipped to my backpack. I unfolded it, and as we walked along, I picked up all that I could. What a great feeling I had, leaving the shoreline better than I had found it! I even felt compassion for those who are not yet feeling their connection to the rest of life and the holy ground we inhabit. I am blessed with lots of nature time.

Appreciation shifted me. A few moments were ruined by my irritation, but a new thought restored me.