In my vegetable and herb garden, behind the beautiful basil plants and the dill which came up on it's own this year...
...is the mint bed, which is bounded by large rocks to keep it from overtaking the garden.
Inside the mint bed lives my friend Toady.
Every morning when I hand water the garden, Toady jumps out of his house to see me.
I know he doesn't look cheerful, but I also know he is pretty happy living in my mint bed.
I know that he is happy, because yesterday I discovered that he has decided to settle down and have a family there.
Today, Toady Jr. hopped out to say hello...
...under the watchful eye of Toady Sr.
I saw Mrs. Toad, too, but she hopped off to do errands before I got her picture.
It wasn't until I took these family photos that I realized Toady and his clan are quite pigeon-toed.
Not that it matters to me.
In fact, I've been thinking about Toady and his boy; about how folks think they're ugly and disgusting and always make sport of their warts.
I got to thinking about how we all have our warts, and ways that are ugly and disgusting, too.
I've been thinking about what happens if the warts and the ugliness become our focus when we think about each other.
It isn't pretty.
I see Toady and his family and they are beautiful to me.
They are desired guests in my mint bed because they are busy eating the things that like to eat me.
It's because of them that I can water and weed in my garden without having to pay for it with a million itchy mosquito bites.
Toady and his family are beautiful, in spite of their warts and their grumpy looking faces, because when I look at them, I'm thinking about the way they make my world a better place.
And you, Dear Readers?
You do, too.
And today, this little bird did as well.
He was perched near the garden on one of the many fences in our back yard that are sorely in need of replacing.
In fact, one of our five backyard neighbors (count 'em!) lost two fence panels a year ago and still hasn't replaced them.
I am not very happy about the large piles of smelly stuff their big dogs wander over to leave on our lawn, but because the fence is down my eyes get these blessings every morning:
I'll scoop poop.
And give thanks.