Gratitude In This Moment

It’s almost a week until the official US day of Thanksgiving. I’ve started early! When I was a kid, we drove, hours and hours and hours, to Grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving. I’ve actually caught myself humming along with our tune for today. Also because I’ve been thinking again about the notion that anxiety lives either in the past or the future, while, in the present moment we are, by many perspectives, all right. I’m trying to stay present in this moment. (Not turning on the news helps!)

So, in this moment, I’m thankful for our roof which Bill sometimes forgets isn’t “brand new” as it was when we bought the house, but still does the job. I’m thankful for a smidge of central heat, even in Atlanta! I’m thankful for clean water that actually runs out of my pipes on request.

I’m thankful that our new Newfie girl, Phoebe, is finally starting to gain some weight after her severe neglect in her previous “home”. I’m thankful that she and Sarah are getting along so well, which is not exactly a given with the four-footed kids who’ve had hard lives. And I’m oddly thankful for their duet, just now. Quiet snoring of sweet, big dogs is music to my ears.

I’m thankful for Bill who, among his many other ways of being eternally supportive, is on a hunting and gathering mission to the big, international Farmers Market. And for the market, itself! Also for our local farmers. We have really good options for safe, clean food. (And lots of the green stuff!)

I’m thankful for our kids and the fact that I get to hug them, soon. Over the moon thankful.

In these days, I’m even more thankful than ususal for my friends who feel called to the work of grace and peace and hope in the world. And for all of you who are joining in, even though I may not know you yet. I give thanks for soup kitchens and homeless ministries and shelters for battered women and children, and Planned Parenthood clinics, even as I pray for the day we won’t need most of them anymore.

I’m thankful for teachers and mentors and cheerleading friends and family. Much of the hope I claim has grown in your light. And, I’m thankful for the poets. Our world needs each and every one!

I am utterly amazed and thankful to announce that I am thankful that my camera phobia has vanished and I am free!

I’m thankful for all of you who have been such a huge help in getting some more of my words launched in the world. I’m thankful for you who read them. And, I’m thankful for the words, themselves. Abracadabra! It’s a miracle.

And I’m thankful for quilt fabric. Waiting for a project or already turned into art and warmth, it makes my soul sing.

Then, there’s a really big thing on my list this year.  Less pain. I am thankful beyond belief for this wonder that sets me free to be thankful for so many other blessings.

I hope you’ll make your list, too. Especially if you’re looking for some practice at staying in the present moment. It doesn’t mean you can’t still be exhausted, and livid, and more than a bit freaked out. It just means some other things are true at the same time. A thought that I find really helpful. And it brings up a couple more thoughts.

I’m thankful for our ability, as human beings, to grow and learn and adapt. Where we’ve been doesn’t determine our options for the future unless we let it. Now seems like an especially good time to remember this one!

If you’ve known me a while, you can probably guess another thing I’m thankful for. West Wing. (Re-runs on Netflix.) Really! Just lately I’ve been amazed by the number of things we’re dealing with as a nation that are just like West Wing said they were a decade or so ago. The need for universal healthcare. Read that Medicare for everyone who chooses it. The threat of climate change.  An obstructionist Congress. Women’s ongoing battle for the rights to make healthcare decisions for their own bodies. You go ahead and fill in some more blanks with the things on your list.

Why do I watch West Wing over and over? I’m not entirely sure. The only thing I can come up with is that there is a message for me there and, apparently, I’m not through learning it yet.

In an episode I watched last night or the night before, it was Thanksgiving in TV land. In the midst of a day full of disruption and fear, President Jed Bartlet said this: “I get to go declare a national day of Thanksgiving. This is a great job!”

One day, if we Americans are paying attention, we’ll accomplish the things that need to happen in order to have an actual President who believes in the greatness of all our people. To restore the soul of our nation. And we’ll stand up and make it happen.

We probably have more learning to do along the way. I’m not sure it will be much fun. I’m in, though. My girls are growing up in this world!

In the meantime, there are great things coming. Watch for a special blog this week. And a gift!  Invite a friend to visit this page. Then, put some fresh batteries in your flashlight and see if you can find some hiking boots in the back of your closet. You’re going to want them soon!

 

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