Last weekend, my family and I hiked at Lake Wappapello. Photo by my husband, Dan Edwards.

Last week, Ruth wrote a post about being able to count a good cup of coffee as a blessing. She discussed how we need to be able to locate these gifts even in difficult times.

I have to admit that this isn’t easy for me, especially when I am super busy. You know what I mean. This weekend we had family over for lunch, pulled up carpet, tore out tile and got ready to sand floors. Tuesday, if not also Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I have jury duty. But I also have work deadlines on the 15th and 28th of the month. Blessings? Maybe I can work in a few but it won’t be for days and days. I’m just too busy.

At times like this, in order to spot my blessings, I need to do something meditative. Note: I do not say meditate. I have monkey mind. It’s a Buddhist term for a frantically active mind. Maybe its my tendency to be Type A, but I don’t think I have monkey mind so much as screaming band of monkeys mind. My brain is far too busy to be only one monkey. Because of this, I find meditation difficult if not impossible.

This means that I do things I find meditative. I have to have some kind of fairly mindless activity to distract my brain while I relax. When I have the chance, I walk the local labyrinth. Depending on the season, I pull weeds or shovel snow. Knitting also works for me. When my family is with me, I like to walk outside, through a natural area.

When I take time to do these kinds of activities, my frantic little brain can expend a certain amount of energy on what I’m doing. But it also mellows out enough that I can take the time to look around.

Like Ruth, I notice the little things. A rich cup of coffee. A decadent piece of chocolate. A song that stirs my soul. Or just the pleasure of getting to be, for an undetermined amount of time, while I do something that let’s me lose myself in a simple task.

Speaking of which, over this horde of screeching monkeys, I can just barely hear a skein of purple wool calling my name. And beside it sits a cup of coffee.