Saturday, April 9, 2011

Feeling Thanksgiving at Easter

"Gratitude" and "Thanksgiving" are words that keep popping up everywhere I least expect these days.

I've come to realize that I have more or less taken them for granted.

That's not to say that I haven't been grateful or given thanks for the good that has come my way. I've certainly covered all the basics: food, clothing, shelter. I've even extended my appreciation to everything from having a wonderful family to finding a parking spot.

But, to really bask in and (more importantly) acknowledge EVERYTHING that I find good, even if it's for a fleeting moment, I haven't done... not yet.

As the big 4-0 slowly approaches, I enjoy giving thought to topics like these. It feels good to grow older. With the gradual decline of my body, my spirit feels as though it's being born. The more I explore, the more I feel whole.

I chanced upon a book called "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. In it, she makes a list of the 1,000 things she loves. Simply by jotting them down does she discover that when she takes the time to notice her environment, life begins to slow down and the beauty that abounds becomes obvious. Noticing the beauty, the miracles in everyday life gives one the chance to reflect on that, which is right in the world. Rendering it nearly impossible not to feel grateful.

So in honor of the book, springtime - the season of new beginnings, optimism and gratitude, I'll start my list of 1,000 gifts:

1. Childhood bunny basket that proudly presented Easter chocolates.
2. Loss of the basket that inspired re-creation.
3. Anticipated arrival of flowering guests in my garden.
4. Thought provoking poems received in early morning emails.
5. Centuries old curved front door of the violin maker.
6. Patient Uncle Herb teaching the meditative art of puzzling.
7. Clip clop of high heels on pavement.
8. Gentle touches when my husband passes by.
9. Aged embroidered cotton Easter dress restored lovingly by a grandmother treasuring keepsakes.
10. Scoop of lemon ice cream eaten out of a hallowed-out lemon on a sunny afternoon.

Viewing the beauty of the world through your eyes would be such a treat, so please feel free to post things (here) that you love, your gifts.