Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

Gratitude Amidst the Messy Parts


Snow catches sunset light.

Snow catches sunset light. © Dawn Wink

Yesterday evening, as I drove home after work, my mind clogged with thoughts of all that needed to be done on campus and at home,  I rounded the corner to this view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains set aglow by those final intense rays right before the sun slips below the horizon. The Spanish named these mountains “Blood of Christ” hundreds of years ago and scenes like this remind me why. The unexpected surprise and intensity of beauty swept the weight of those Shoulds and Musts out of my mind in an instant.

Branches against winter sky.

Branches against winter sky.

As  I threaded the car along the narrow two-lane road, the vibrancy of the colors and textures on the mountain above deepened and I started to look for anyplace I could pull off to take a photo on this road with no shoulder.

Two miles and one turn-around to backtrack later, I swerved off the road into a flat space, walked through the mud in my good suede boots, and found a place to snap this photo right before the sun dipped below the mesa, turning off the light that lit the mountain.

I looked down at my beautiful boots covered in mud and thought of a scene from one of Wynn and my favorite movies Letters to Juliet. In the scene, a grandmother, played gorgeously by Vanessa Redgrave, talks with her emphatic grandson and he tries to convince her to see things his way and says something along the lines of  “You and Grandpa had a good life, except for the messy parts.”

“Life is the messy parts,” she says.

Life here often feels full of the messy parts, with not even close to enough hours in the day. I find myself thinking, “I just have to do this, and then that, and then..” Then I remind myself, “Life is the messy parts.”

Fire in fireplace on a day at home.

Fire in fireplace on a day at home.

Somehow this makes my heart smile and there is some kind of weird comfort in the realization that the messy parts never go away. They change and shift, but remain constant in their presence.

I took a photo of the slender branches against a winter sky last week as I had a day at home to tend to the piles of laundry, bills, and all else that goes with home that had collected in the previous weeks. The messy parts of life covered many of the surfaces of our home. It felt like forever since I’d had a day at home to do this. A fire in the fireplace accompanied us in our day and I reveled in its popping, cracking, and warmth as I folded clothes and paid bills.

Unexpected bits of beauty shine through the messiness; rounding a corner to an unexpected scene of beauty, slender branches against a winter sky, a fire in the fireplace as one tends the messy parts of home. Beauty and gratitude expand when we notice pay attention to them.

Gratitude amidst the messy parts.

Wynn's new dance shoes - her magic slippers.

Wynn’s new dance shoes – her magic slippers.

Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

14 thoughts on “Gratitude Amidst the Messy Parts

  1. Pingback: Dewdrops Birthday | Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

  2. Thank you for the lovely images – in words and photographs. Laura

  3. Gracias Dawn por inspirarnos a ver lo poeticamente positivo cada dia!
    Ana Maria

  4. Beautiful reflections and photo!! I am so engaged in Meadowlark. Thank you for sharing your stories, Dawn.

    Meredith Machen



  5. Well said. We all learn more in the messiness than in the sunshine. It gives such a platform for praise and giving thanks.

  6. Thank you for the beauty of your words!
    Happy Thanksgiving! May you and your family have a blessed day!

  7. This is wonderful Dawn, as always I enjoyed reading your posts. This time even more (if that is possible?), about the messy part…, so true.
    Thank you and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    • Anja, I was just thinking of you! Thanks so much for taking the time to connect. Ah, the messy parts…life IS so full of them, isn’t it? So grateful to share all with you. A happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Dawn

  8. Dawn, I always enjoy your posts and this one is especially beautiful. I am forwarding it to some of my friends and family. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your. Anne

    Anne Hillerman

    • Anne, I am so grateful this resonated with you. Life is so full of messy parts and beauty, isn’t it? What an especially blessed Thanksgiving for you this year with Spider Woman’s Daughter! Wishing you and yours a lovely Thanksgiving. Dawn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.