Oprah
Photo: Joe Pugliese

Breathe with me for a moment. Place your hands on your stomach and feel it expand as you inhale. Then let it contract and deflate as you exhale. That cycle happens, on average, 720 times an hour, more than 17,000 times a day—without your even thinking about it.

The biological wonder of a breath is so easy to take for granted, but every now and again I get still enough to notice it. And when I do: Wow! I stand in awe of the miracle that is life.

This time of year I like to be barefoot as often as possible, walking across an earthy carpet of freshly mown grass. Wow, it feels so good!

Another wow: Every night at sunset, friends and neighbors gather on my front porch to watch what we call the greatest show on Earth. We take pictures and compare the color variations of each magnificent light show as the sun dips below the horizon.

The other day it rained for four hours straight. A steady downpour, and then suddenly it stopped. Wow! Everything—trees, fences, sky—was luminescent.

For me, nature is one great big wow after another, and sometimes its smallest offerings are the ones that open my soul to its splendor. For my birthday this year, Diane, a florist who has created spectacular arrangements of every sort for me, gave me one of my most treasured gifts ever: two small leaves shaped like hearts. I keep them pressed between the pages of my favorite book, Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. Every time I open it, I am reminded how simple and beautiful life can be—if we choose to see it that way.