This area of the world is a mecca for cyclist and hikers (+/- runners) and hence the attraction for me to come and explore.
I have a huge amount of gratitude in this moment for (but not limited to) the beauty of the surrounding mountains, the warmth of the sun, the Savoie flag blowing in the breeze, the array of languages, people pursuing active pursuits, and my ability to be here.
I could, if I wanted to, tune into the antithesis and focus on the wind disrupting my pages, the visual and audible disturbance of cyclists, cars and motorbikes, the clouds ruining the panorama and threatening to block the sun, the man made structures tarnishing the pristine landscape, the cigarette smoke blowing across my nostrils, the less than average coffee, or whatever was left on the table that has just stained my page.
The point is that you have a choice in every moment of life. It is easy to have gratitude at the perceptively positive end of the spectrum, and of course, it will be challenging to have gratitude at the perceptively negative end of the spectrum. It is however the ordinary moments in life where your opportunity to have a practice of gratitude will manifest most obviously.
A subtle note of irony, and perhaps a sad inditement on our willingness, or lack there of to express vulnerability. Every couple of minutes a cyclist arrives atop the col, having toiled for the previous two (or more) hours. Many of the cyclists stop at the top for a rest, and for an obligatory photo in front of the sign that they have been working so hard to get to. A huge percentage of the lone cyclists will contort them-self in an attempt to capture their sweaty brow, and the sign, with varying degrees of success. Regularly there will be two, or more cyclists perform this same pursuit at the same time, ironic when there is a perfect opportunity to open themselves up to the vulnerability of asking another human being if they would be willing to take a photo that they might actually enjoy in years to come. Of course, there are language barriers, though I am yet to, and doubt I ever will experience or witness someone refusing to take a quick photo.