The Wind and The Rain

It was the kind of day when the sun could melt the sidewalk. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, nor had there been for weeks. The farmer’s patience was regularly tested in his profession, but this drought seemed unwavering. It had been weeks since his crops last tasted water. The farmer bent over and picked up a small handful of soil. The bed of earth planted to support the farmer’s crops was expectingly dry and crumbled in his calloused hand.

“I know you’re hurting”.

The farmer spoke quietly to his plants. He had done all he could to prepare his fields for a barren summer, but had he done enough, the farmer wasn’t certain. A farmer without rain is like a fisherman without a rod. It would only take a few more days of dry heat to spoil his future fall harvest.

It was just before dawn but the sky was still draped in darkness. The farmer stirred in his sleep and awoke to a familiar baritone rumble outside his secluded cabin. The sound shook the very foundation of his modest home.

“It has to be thunder“.

He had pleaded and prayed for the promise of rain. The farmer lifted himself from his bed and rushed outside with a childlike eagerness. The sound was a devine message the farmer dare not misinterpret. It was thunder alright but it was also so much more. Directly overhead, the farmer saw outlines of storm clouds and streaks of lightning. Again, the thunder roared with power.

As the wind picked up with an unmistakable intensity, what the farmer saw next was no apparition. Lightning illuminated a part between the clouds and there the farmer saw what he believed to be the face of God.

The farmer marveled as The Wind spun, guided, and twisted a school of rain. A gentle hold bound the pair as they moved in the sky with grace. Now, The Rain started to fall gently to the Earth, seemingly, one at a time. The farmer kept his curious, sunken brown eyes locked above him.

The Rain turned heavy and slapped against the farmer’s flesh. The Wind now deafening, caused the farmer to retreat inside. The farmer took up a new viewing point from inside his cabin, dripping on the wood floor beneath his boots. The farmer now saw what he couldn’t before from inside the storm.

“They’re dancing”.

The farmer’s memory flashed with the same brevity and intensity of the lightning. He saw his wedding day and his beautiful bride. He remembered them glide across the dance floor, alone in a crowded room. He blinked and he saw The Wind, always changing, moving The Rain with a determined unpredictability. He blinked again and his mind returned to the past. They were in love. He saw himself and his wife give their vows and solidify an ancient and sacred connection. A connection like the one between The Wind and The Rain. One always finding and supporting the other.

His mind wavered between two realities, unsure where to anchor. The farmer snapped from his trance as The Rain rolled down the face of the farmer’s home.

The rainstorm didn’t dissipate, it just moved. The Rain turned to a quiet patter on the glass window in use. The sun was coming up and brought clarity to the panorama outside the farmer’s home. He returned outside and felt the dirt turn back to soil. Once again, his crops could grow with a fervent fashion. The Wind sang with a different tune. The song, played for the lonely crop fields, brought the farmer peace.

The farmer was always grateful for The Wind and The Rain. He would spend his whole life searching and waiting for its return. The cycle regularly tested the farmer’s faith and patience. To the farmer, it was like falling in love over and over, and over again. He was grateful for The Wind and The Rain but never expected the pair to stay. Too much would destroy everything the farmer worked so hard to grow. Even in the farmer’s old age, he had still yet to find an everlasting and ethereal balance between love and work. The eventful morning would hold him over for the time being. Eager, for the return and renewal of The Wind and The Rain.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Time with my family and time to reflect
  2. Teamwork and encouragement
  3. The process of learning
  4. The warmth of the summer sun
  5. Sharing gratitude

Daily Gratitude: Life On Mars

Through time and space, I arrive anxious and uncertain. I am in a dark place, isolated by my own doing. I controlled the launch. I selected the destination. Fear of asphyxiation lies right outside the comfort of my shuttle.

What if I’m not ready?

What if I’m not good enough?

Often times, this is what self questioning and depreciation can feel like. We retreat to the darkest places of our mind, only to be met by irrational fears and a contorted view of our reality. We may not travel to Mars but these thoughts certainly can make us feel hundreds of millions of miles from anyone who can help or understand. The same two questions presented prior to any kind of major change or transition in our lives. These questions, have an answer.

You are ready.

You are good enough.

You were born for this.

I step out on to the surface of the foreign planet. The sun, warming my suit and finally reaching this side of Mars. I grow more confident with each motion forward. I forge a new path in a strange place leaving behind the comfort of my ship.


Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. 

Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend. 

But is there for the night a resting-place? A roof for when the slow dark hours begin. 

May not the darkness hide it from my face? You cannot miss that inn. 

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? Those who have gone before. 

Then must I knock, or call when just in sight? They will not keep you standing at that door. 

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak? Of labour you shall find the sum. 

Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yea, beds for all who come.

As the old adage goes, we don’t know unless we try. Words of change fill and circle my mind like wind trapped in a bottle. The journey will not be easy. The answers we seek may not always be clear. But we must begin if we wish to find our way. Indecision and complacency leave us stranded in the recess of our minds, on the cold side of distant planets.

Begin today, and do it with gratitude for what got you here.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Clear blue skies and warm spring days
  2. The sound of the wind, a song and a reminder
  3. Creative outlets and opportunities
  4. Coaches, teachers, mentors, and role models
  5. Late night ice cream
  6. A couple deep breaths when I need them
  7. Time to reflect and decide
  8. Inspiration, in all its forms
  9. My family and the support they provide
  10. The here and now, this present moment

Check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I started writing about gratitude and why I want you to start writing a list of your own. 

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Always Searching (#329)

On this wonderful journey through life, I feel myself searching for more. Searching, looking for the next opportunity or thing that may bring me happiness.

I’m starting to learn that I don’t have to.

The best the Universe has to offer me has been right in front of me the whole time. It is with gratitude I feel this to be true. Nothing is as sweet or as fulfilling as the present moment. Nothing can take away from the power of right now.

So if you find yourself searching like me, stop and remember your breath. Use gratitude to tie you to this moment and let the rest figure itself out.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. The morning sunshine
  2. Productive practice
  3. Time at the gym
  4. A new perspective
  5. Cooking with Julie
  6. Movie nights and recliner seats
  7. My family
  8. Tattoo stories
  9. Clean water and Cambodia stories
  10. bTeachers and mentors
  11. Summer audiobooks and walks through campus
  12. Finally unpacking from being home
  13. Incredible views on worthwhile hikes
  14. Learning new things
  15. Time for reflection
  16. A couple deep breaths
  17. Waking up in the morning
  18. Learning how to drive from my mom
  19. Warm blankets
  20. Any chance to play soccer with friends
  21. Yard games with my neighbors growing up
  22. My continued education
  23. Sharing gratitude
  24. A little support
  25. The present moment

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image from Joshua Tree

Time With My Mom (#322)

This morning I found myself just sitting and talking with my mother. We enjoy kayaking, running, and a number of other things but doing nothing feels just as good. I appreciate the moments where I see how alike we are. The way we curl up with a blanket or tell a story, she’s a huge piece of my support system.

Time at home is special to me. Spending time with my mom is part of that.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Biking down the hill at home
  2. My cat, Ned
  3. Game of Thrones Sunday’s
  4. Friends from BSU
  5. New goals and aspirations
  6. A little flexibility
  7. Warm blankets and cozy slippers
  8. Birds outside my window in the morning
  9. The train passing in the night
  10. Traveling down the western coast
  11. Monopoly nights with the family
  12. Living an active lifestyle
  13. The sound of rain falling on glass windows
  14. Eggs in the morning
  15. Sharing gratitude
  16. Music you can dance to
  17. Trying new things
  18. Nights in Acadia
  19. Stretching before bed
  20. Patient thinking
  21. Taking walks to clear my head
  22. People who encourage my best self
  23. My sister
  24. A little routine
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image from Washington!

Thinking Good Thoughts (#321)

It’s all about how we frame things in our mind. Whether that be get to vs. have to or reminding ourselves we don’t have to overthink something trivial, it starts with us. Life is complicated and our future remains a mystery. We may not be able to control every outcome but we can dictate our mindset. Let your thoughts run wild with ‘best case scenarios’ and positive thinking.

Don’t forget to breathe, I promise it helps.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Letting things go
  2. A change in season
  3. Sharing new music
  4. Spending time with my family
  5. A full moon and an empty night sky
  6. Fresh fruits and veggies
  7. A summer full of adventure
  8. Stories from Cambodia
  9. New goals and aspirations
  10. Holding hands
  11. The Boston Marathon in the spring
  12. Patient thoughts
  13. Feeling the rain landing on my skin
  14. A contagious smile and energy from others
  15. Honest communication
  16. A couple deep breaths
  17. Signs from the Universe
  18. The little things
  19. All kinds of learning
  20. Clean water
  21. Time to journal and reflect
  22. Vibrant sunsets
  23. Genuine leaders and motivators
  24. BSU memories
  25. The precious present

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image of my cat Ned

One Foot In Front Of The Other (#320)

Although I did not accomplish my original goal of 365 consecutive days of gratitude, I’m still proud of what I’ve done. Whether I’ve made time for my daily blog or I’ve journaled about my gratitude for the day, it’s changed my life for the better.

So now I continue because it’s what we must always do. Life is about progress and growth. Life is about taking our experiences and using them to better ourselves in new ways. I want to reinvent myself every chance I get. I want to embrace change and use it as a tool on my way to accomplishing my goals.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Time to journal
  2. A little support
  3. Time with my brother
  4. Adaptability
  5. Spending time with my family
  6. A chance to relax
  7. Peaceful morning runs
  8. A clear night to see the stars
  9. Clean laundry
  10. A new perspective
  11. A hot shower
  12. A chance to check in
  13. My grandparents
  14. Friends from home
  15. Artists and creators
  16. Hope and optimism
  17. Spending time with my cat
  18. Warm socks and blankets
  19. Talking things out
  20. The state park in the summer
  21. Sharing gratitude
  22. Good teachers
  23. People who make an impact
  24. Safe travels
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image from the end of summer at UMASS.

Be On Your Own Team (#315)

I think I take myself for granted sometimes. I mess up and I have zero sympathy for it.

I should have done better.

I can’t believe I did that.

I’m not good enough.

These anxious thoughts echo and return more than I’d like to admit. Something I saw recently inspired me.

“Commit to always being on your own team”. Brent Huras may just be a talking internet head but I find myself in agreement!

I’m working on having gratitude for me. Allowing myself grace when I mess up. It’s a process, believe me.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Clean water
  2. Time for reflection
  3. A clean apartment
  4. Learning from mistakes
  5. Going home to my family
  6. Assorted desserts and fun messages
  7. Indoor soccer in the winter
  8. Friends from home
  9. Spending quality time together
  10. Shared anything
  11. New candle smells
  12. Revs nights at Gillette
  13. Home cooking
  14. My brothers in Sigma Pi
  15. The warmth of the summer sun
  16. New music
  17. My Peer Mentor staff
  18. Good health and safe travels
  19. Tattoo stories
  20. A couple deep breaths
  21. Local pizza
  22. Time at the gym
  23. A good book
  24. My education and great teachers
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Featured image of Loch Ness!

Future Goals (#314)

It’s odd. All of my future goals and aspirations actually begin here in the present. It’s a challenge to reframe my thoughts in the present moment, ultimately as I look forward. I’ve come to learn this is a balance we must keep and something gratitude can help with.

I’m grateful for this moment first.

It’s a process and I’m trying to be patient with my own.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. When my cat wakes me up in the morning
  2. Catching up with friends
  3. The end of the semester
  4. Safe travels
  5. Time at the gym
  6. Eating dinner with my family
  7. Cambodia and clean water
  8. Sharing gratitude
  9. People who inspire
  10. New Years resolutions
  11. The evening rain and Frank Ocean music
  12. Supportive colleagues
  13. Night time routines
  14. Airport stories
  15. When my friends send me music
  16. Late night ice cream
  17. Finding time versus making time
  18. A good book on the bike
  19. Liverpool games
  20. My fellow summer intern
  21. Saturday morning refereeing
  22. After school cereal
  23. Sledding down the hometown hill
  24. Local pizza
  25. Right here, right now

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!

Missing Cambodia always.

Chosen Family (#313)

This post comes from my friend and a returning guest blogger, Riley McGrath.

My name is Riley McGrath, I am a 20 year old FTM transgender guy from Scituate Massachusetts, though home to me is really Bridgewater State University. I am studying psychology and am taking on a double minor in LGBT studies and women and gender studies. I hope to become a gender therapist where I will be helping trans folks like myself every day of my life.

Something that I’ve carried with me throughout my coming out and transitioning process is this idea of a chosen family. I grew in a big Irish Catholic family. These values have been ingrained in me, my whole life. Now that I’ve started my transition and have come out, the importance of family has changed for me.

To me, family is the people that accept and support you without any conditions. I don’t see my biological family being in my life forever unless they accept who I am and start to call me Riley. My true family is the people have been with me since I have come out and support me without exceptions. One of the beautiful things about being LGBT is being able to choose your family. Sometimes it’s after your biological family kicks you out. But you find the most amazing people to “replace” what you’ve lost. My chosen family is something I am grateful for every day of my life.

One of my favorite quotes about family is from the TV show, The Fosters. It is something I carry with me through the ups and downs of being queer and a trans male. “DNA doesn’t make a family. Love does” I really love that quote and it always reminds me of my chosen family.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My chosen family, even if some people aren’t in my life much anymore
  2. Drywall and painting
  3. My sister, who is one of my favorite people on the planet
  4. The trans community on social media (Laverne Cox, Aydian Dowling, Chella man, Chase Ross and too many more to mention)
  5. Question 3 in Massachusetts
  6. Bridgewater State University (as always)
  7. My friends Catherine and Sean, for letting me stay when I have to work early/ late… And their dogs too
  8. The crazy journey of manhood
  9. My car
  10. Both my jobs, my bosses, and my coworkers
  11. Music (for keeping me sane through the ups and downs of life)
  12. Being able to learn how to cook on my own
  13. Stories
  14. Church (for showing me that LGBT folks can be religious)
  15. My best friend and brother (for our hour-long conversations where I always end up crying)
  16. Rain
  17. Anyone that has ever doubted me
  18. Everything I’ve gone through and struggled with
  19. The crazy journey of manhood
  20. Having the right and privilege of voting
  21. Sunrises and sunsets
  22. My research group
  23. My dad (for giving everything up for me)
  24. How much I’ve grown since September
  25. The month of November (November 20th specifically)

As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!