Hurricane Irene did this weekend what nothing else has ever done: it shut down the city that never sleeps. Luckily, my neighborhood – like most of New York City – was spared any severe damage.

This morning, while I awakened to see sheets of diagonal rain, gusts of wind blowing trees and piles of leaves on the city street in front of my window, I felt overwhelming gratitude.  Within that feeling lives a deep appreciation for the city officials who took precautions to keep us all safe, for my parents who brought me D batteries when there were none to be found, for the blessings of friends who checked in to be sure I was out of harm’s way.

The glorious cup of coffee that warmed my being this morning was a beautiful way to start the day.  And, the sky is now brightening with the promise of sunlight.

May your day be filled with beauty and grace.