Thursday, October 4, 2012

In Thanksgiving ...

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts
are conscious of our treasures.

                                              Thornton Wilder

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches, our hearts and minds turn naturally to thoughts of gratitude.

For many, life is overflowing with riches and it is easy to acknowledge the things that make our hearts sing. For others, hearts heavy with compassion fatigue or chronic sorrow, it may be more difficult to find things for which to be grateful. In times like these, it can help to turn to the small things - the ordinary, everyday relationships and experiences we tend to take for granted.

When we begin to remember the small things, our gratitude takes on a life of it's own, changing our perspectives and filling us with hope. This morning, as I drove about doing last minute errands before leaving for Vancouver Island for the holidays, I began my own list of "small things":

1.  A warm pair of gloves for the first cold steering wheel of the season.
2.  A new book by a favourite author to take away on holiday.
3.  The golden sunshine playing on the leaves of the tree at the corner.
4.   A carpet to step on as I got out of bed this morning.
5.  Vegetables from the farmers market for Thanksgiving dinner.
6.  A loving postcard from a dear friend, far away.
7.  Regina at the All Day Cafe who always greets me with a smile.
8.  The cozy fragrance of cinnamon and apples and the ability to smell them.
9.  The joy and laughter of a grandmother greeting her little red-headed grandson at the Quay this morning. ("I've missed you soooooooo much!")
10. A reservation for the ferry even if it means getting up at 4 am tomorrow.
11. A new tip for cooking squash - roast the squash whole for the first 20 minutes, until it begins to soften, then take it out of the oven and slice it to size and roast for another 40 minutes.
12. The scent of the last New Zealand rose of the season.
13. The anticipation of seeing my goddaughters and hearing their stories when I get to Nanaimo.
14. A basketful of tulip bulbs to plant for the spring.
15. The pleasure of hearing old familiar Thanksgiving hymns when I visit my Benedictine friends at the Retreat Centre on Saturday.

And then there's you, dear readers. I am more grateful than I can say to be able to share life with you and to receive your encouraging emails. Your energy keeps me writing and teaching and I'm so grateful. May each of you, whatever your circumstances, create a warm and very happy Thanksgiving,



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