I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
Today, I'm joining Ann for the first time in giving thanks for the multitude of love and joy and grace that surrounds me in this life.
I suppose it makes sense that I would feel drawn to this exercise on this, the week of Thanksgiving. But really, I've known of its power for awhile.
Thanksgiving is the soil in which joy thrives.
It has been in some of my more darker moments that, in turning my head and heart just so, I've caught a glimpse of an everyday grace. And it has made all the difference.
It has also been settling in on my heart, more and more often, how very much that I want to model this practice for my boys. To take their hearts in my hand and lead them along the path of thanksgiving. Really, what greater truth could I teach to them?
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.
The boys and I walk around the lake by our house almost everyday (mainly for our dog's boundless energy seeking ways but also for the daily dose of fresh air and perspective that it gives to us). Usually on these walks, the boys engage each other in conversations on various topics--the future exploits of their Lego creations, the type of dog that they might want when they are older, how to be the best secret agent...
But the other day, after a span of unusual silence, August looks up at me and says, "I am SO thankful that we have clean water to drink, everyday." That was it.
That was all there needed to be.
Yes. Clean water is a gift that we usually accept without a thought, with a sense of entitlement, even. We rarely think of the alternative.
And yet, he did. He understood. In that very moment, the truth of that gift came rushing into his heart and mind and he couldn't help but speak it out loud.
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.
I am going to begin my 1000 gift list today.
#1 The pink and gold tinged clouds that make getting up at dawn a tad bit easier.
#2 The ability to plan, hope and dream about a bountiful meal that is guarranteed to come.
#3 Plants on my windowsill that decide to keep growing despite my neglect.
#4 The smell of woodsmoke carried on the shoulders of crisp breezes
#5 A happy childhood
#6 Children that fight to cuddle with me, even when I have morning breath
#7 The gentle glow of candles on a dark kitchen table
#8 Hearing, "Mom, look at this..."
#9 Dreams that make you think of a person who needs your friendship
#10 The silhoutte of bare trees against a sunset that hints at cold weather to come.
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.