Thursday, October 8, 2015

What Makes Me Grateful ...?

... to live with ... eyes wide open, to breathe in 
the colours of mountain and sky, to know the sound of leaves rustling, the smell of snow, the texture of bark.

Jan Philips

Hello, everyone!

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches this year, I've been increasingly aware of, and grateful for, the gifts of my five senses.

Always a sensory person, I've been particularly aware of the richness of these gifts over the past few months. I don't know whether it's the glorious intensity of the tree colourings after this summer's drought or the experience of meeting the father of a young woman blind in one eye and missing much of the vision in the other or the photography course I've been enjoying since the beginning of September, but I seem exquisitely aware of my sense of sight and, by extension, my other senses as well.

I know it is my five senses that will provide me with the deepest refreshment this Thanksgiving weekend. Sight will feed my soul as I drive through wooded hills to the ferry, taking in the palette of autumn leaves and rocky cliffs rising high above the ocean. Hearing will fill my mind with CBC's North By Northwest  in the early hours, a playlist ranging from the Beatles to Mozart's Clarinet Concerto later in the day and two full days of precious conversations-that-matter. A heart-softening sense of smell will introduce me to the particular new-baby fragrance of a little girl who joined our extended family this week. Taste will sate us all as we enjoy an abundant dinner cooked and shared by many. And touch, found in the warm hugs of loved ones, will help to fill the empty spaces.

I don't know what your situation will be this weekend. You may be one of many working to keep us safe and healthy or you may be a family caregiver working 24/7 to keep a loved one comfortable. You may be surrounded and nurtured by loving family and friends or you may feel alone, exhausted and overwhelmed. Whatever your situation, may one of your five senses offer you, perhaps unexpectedly, at least one small thing for which you can be grateful this Thanksgiving.

Let me leave you with the Thanksgiving gift of one of Celtic poet and philosopher, John O'Donohue"s, many poems of blessing  - this time, a blessing for our senses.

A Blessing For the Senses
May the touch of your skin
register the beauty
of the otherness
that surrounds you.

May your listening be attuned
to the deeper silence
where sound is honed
to bring distance home.

May the fragrance
of a breathing meadow
refresh your heart
and remind you you are
a child of the earth.

And when you partake
of food and drink,
may your taste quicken
to the gift and sweetness
that flows from the earth.

May your inner eye
see through the surfaces
and glean the real presence
of everything that meets you.

May your soul beautify
the desire of your eyes
that you might glimpse
the infinity that hides
in the simple sights
that seem worn
to your usual eyes.

 A very warm and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!