Today I am grateful to wake up to a new day. I am also grateful for my fossil collection and the hours I spent in my youth searching for them.
That makes today's word fossils. Below is a picture of two of the fossils in my small collection. (I am grateful I was able to locate this collection. I hadn't looked at it in years. I knew I had it here but I wasn't sure where. It was in the first place I looked.) They were all found on one particular hillside on the farm in northeast Iowa that I grew up on. It was a hill above the creek in the area where the pigs got to roam. That was when farms had a lot of fence lines, unlike now. So the pigs had their pasture area and the cows had areas of their own. I climbed and crossed many fences and gates in my day.
Back to the fossils. If my brief research is accurate, the fossils below are Brachiopods. They are common in Iowa and belong to some sort of sea critter that lived inside this two-hinged protective shell attached to the floors of the warm and shallow seas that covered Iowa 375 million years ago. Wow! That is what always fascinated me about fossils: the story and the time behind them.
In ways, I was a lonely and troubled child, but my rock collecting was a fun endeavor for me. I combed that hillside many times and enjoyed the thrill of a find. Pleasant memories I am grateful for.
And fossils remind me to look carefully and closely for the treasures in my life today. When I am paying attention and focused on gratitude, these treasures of today are much easier to find than the fossils of yesterday were.