I’ve been feeling the link between gratitude and joy lately.

It started with this moment of gratitude I felt in my kitchen. I was alone in the house, making myself leftover frozen lasagna to eat while I read. I was so overcome by how much I loved doing what I was doing. I felt as if I heard my truest self, or my soul, almost like a bystander, saying, “I just love this.” And I realized in a way I never did before (an almost embarrassing admission) that gratitude is joy.

You know how books and practices recommend gratitude – like Start your day with gratitude – Count your blessings…that kind of thing. That never moved me. Never. But when I realized that the joy I was feeling was gratitude, or the gratitude actually joy, I was bowled over.

And then this morning, walking out to the cabin in the early morning dark, with a light rain falling – the first in weeks – and that fresh smell!…I felt again the gratitude joy. And likewise this evening on the same walk as the smell had suddenly turned to the fall smell and yellow leafs were falling all around me. There it was. The feeling again.  Oh God, I love it so.

I’ve felt joy before, but I never quite got that it is always, always, steeped in gratitude, like a cup of tea that wouldn’t be tea without the steeping. And I never saw so clearly that the gratitude is all about love.