The Good We Can Embrace

When I sent out my closing post for Gratitude Week, I shared this quote:

What if, today, we were grateful for everything?
~Charlie Brown~

Ah, the wisdom of sweet Charlie Brown.  And I know some of you may be shaking your heads, thinking immediately of circumstances in your life – or in the lives of others – that one could not possibly be thankful for.  And I get that.  I can think of questionable scenarios too.

Is it possible to feel grateful for everything?

I honestly don’t know, and I won’t try to answer that for you or anyone else.  But here’s what I do know and feel…

It’s hard to feel grateful for forest fires raging in California.  But it’s easy to feel gratitude for all the people working to save the people and the forests, to see the communities that gather to support one another.

It’s hard to feel grateful for gun violence.  But it’s easy to feel gratitude for the people working hard to make a change.  (here’s an easy way for you to insert your voice)

It’s hard to feel grateful for loved ones suffering chronic health issues, but it’s easy to feel gratitude for the families and friends who gather round, for the health professionals who dedicate their lives to alleviating pain and disease.

These are just a few injustices to illustrate the point that, at surface value, some things won’t seem worthy of our gratitude but that, if we shift the place from which we stand ever so slightly (figuratively, sometimes literally), might offer a softening of the heart.  This softening won’t erase anything, but it might make the continued journey – because that is what we do, living here on this Earth, we journey – a wee bit pleasanter.  A tad easier to wrap our brains around, if only for a moment.

I’m not asking anyone to be grateful for everything.  That’s a pretty tall order.  But maybe we can shift the way we understand the interconnectedness of people and things, of life.  So that, somewhere down the line, there’s a glimmer, a spark, a recognition….of the good that is ours to embrace.

always the love, m

 

P.S.  Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in the United States, or are having a regular day/week somewhere else in the world, I wish you love and kindness.  I wish you strength to shift perspective, as necessary. I wish you grace to rest wherever you are, always.

P.P.S.  There’s still time to sign up for Just Five Things

On Feeling Alive

Last week I finally put the garden to bed.  It was a crisp and windy day, sunny and a little bit glorious.  The raspberry bushes scraped my hands; I didn’t mind. It felt good to be outside.  It felt good to be tackling a job I’d been avoiding.  It felt good (truly) to be alive.

The kids had friends over and they were playing soccer, they were laughing, they were alive.

Later, we had pizza.  And a bonfire.  The kids moved between house and fireside.  I sat by the fire as long as possible.  Until it was time for friends to say goodbye.  Until it was time to put the last dishes into the dishwasher. Until it was time to lay my slightly smoke-scented head on the pillow.  It had all felt so good.

That’s the kind of day I love.  A day where things get done and things are enjoyed.  A day lacking demarcation. A day where moments flow one into the next.  A day replete with simple living.

That was a day where the only markers were meals shared and a moment when I stood beside the hydrangea bush.  That moment when I stared at the blooms.  Just the week before they’d been pink!  And now, with color faded, they begged stillness for a minute (maybe it was two?).  And so I stood, then I stooped.  To look closer.  I think I whispered a prayer of gratitude (I hope I whispered a prayer of gratitude).  To the hydrangea.  To the crisp, windy, and glorious day.  To life.  This life that isn’t always easy, but which is pretty glorious.

I clipped a few of the dried and faded hydrangea blooms.  Brought them inside, and set them on the windowsill in our family room.  They are a reminder of how a day can be, how a life might be.

I’m so very fortunate.  And, if you’re reading these words, you’re fortunate too. What do we do with that…that being fortunate?  I’m not sure, except this: embrace your fortune, and be alive.  Count your gratitudes.  Every now and then, allow yourself to pause and stand beside a hydrangea bush.  Spend an extra ten minutes sharing conversation with someone who needs to be heard. Spoon food onto the plate of another.  And say thank you.  To the hydrangea, to the people who pepper your life, to technology which allows you to be here with me right now, to the pillow on which you rest your head each night.  Say thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Then say thank you again.  And feel alive.

 

Sending a little love your way, m

P.S. For those of you in the United States, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving (a day late, I know)!  For those of you elsewhere in this great world of ours,  I wish you the same.  Because, really, a day dedicated to counting blessings? That’s one we can all enjoy.

*****

I’m putting the finishing touches on my special run of Just Five Things.  It’s a mini edition which I’m calling Grounding for the Holidays.  We’ll gather for just five short days.  Five meaningful days of intention.  Would you like to join us? Click right here.  xo

 

 

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Goodness and Gratitude (and Thanksgiving)

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On Thursday (tomorrow), folks in the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  A day to count blessings.  And, surely, every day is a good day to count blessings.  But sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder.  Thanksgiving might be that reminder for some of us.

Having explored gratitude during Gratitude Week with so many of you, having explored life and self with some of you in Just Five Things…well, my heart is full.  I was witness to incredible compassion and beauty.  Blown away (yet again).

I have great faith in the goodness of humanity.  I see ugly things on the news (I know you do too) and sometimes I cry.  Real tears.  But I will always return to my belief that goodness underscores all.  It’s there.

This week, if you celebrate Thanksgiving…this week, if you do not celebrate Thanksgiving…celebrate the goodness around you.  It’s there; honor it.  Whisper a little prayer.  Give a big hug.  Bow your head or lift your eyes.

Take a moment and feel the goodness (the gratitude) move through your body.  Carry it with you.

Yes, good, carry on.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Happy goodness.
To you and you and you.

sending a little love your way, m

p.s. I’m sharing more thoughts (and more images) at ViewFinders. I hope you’ll have a peek.

 

thanksgiving

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in the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.
~ elizabeth gilbert ~

wishing a happy thanksgiving to those of you celebrating this united states holiday.
and to everyone…wishing a day {a life} of love and forevers.

sending a little love your way, m

 

 

thanksgiving

gathered together sitting round
the table the fire
there is family there are friends
and there is a pause
which begs us to consider
the love and the light and the joy
in our lives
for there is always something
be it the roof over our heads
or the sun peeking behind a cloud
if we pause if we look if we listen
it is there

 

here in the united states, we are celebrating thanksgiving.  wherever you are in this incredible world of ours, i invite you to pause today.  i invite you to look and to listen. and i wish you joy in this moment of pause and for all the moments which follow.

 

sending a little love your way, m