With Thanksgiving and the holidays upon us, I’ve been asking myself what I am most thankful for. There are so many things, it’s difficult to narrow down the list. But one category stands tall above the rest.

It’s the continuous string of divine sensations I experience throughout the day, every day. Who says heaven is somewhere else? Maybe it is, but it’s here and now, too – I experience heaven infused deeply into my flesh.

Heaven is in the velvety fur of Kat’s ears, the soothing purr of her kitty motor, and her warmth on my lap as she helps me write every morning. It’s in the deep, glossy orange-red of my morning breakfast tea as it reflects the light from the lamp, the tea’s sweet and astringent flavors, and the music of the kettle as it lovingly heats up my water.

It’s in the warm tickling of the shower spray as it cascades down the back of my neck and shoulders. Try it. Notice.

No matter what is or isn’t happening in my life, heaven presents itself in these small moments of fleeting, yet continuous pleasure. Together, they knit a thick blanket that warms me with joy and comfort, especially on those days when I feel jangled or out of sorts. I experience one lovely sensation after another and then look forward to the next. For those moments, the whirring busy-ness of life steps back and the richness of the “now moment” steps forward. Love expresses itself this way, baby.

And then there’s food. Who says you can’t eat chocolate for breakfast? Certainly not me! I dip 85 percent organic chocolate into freshly ground peanut butter. The contrast of crunch and creamy is a lovely way to start the day, along with the rush of all that feel-good stuff that’s embedded in the chocolate. And I give thanks for the complex flowery licorice taste of fennel pollen that I sprinkle like fairy dust onto a simple cauliflower dish. This transforms the humble vegetable into a meal fit for a king or a queen. Don’t know any royalty? Maybe you do! Because when you are following the Joy of Plenty way, everyone eats like royalty. So invite yourself or a friend for dinner and be a king or a queen.

Isabel Montclaire