Sing praises…

Recently it seems reminders to be grateful are everywhere. Partly it’s the approach of the Thanksgiving holiday, partly illnesses in the families of close friends that have put their lives suddenly in perspective, partly coming through a deeply divided election year and emerging on the other side. I am no stranger to sudden disaster, accidents, the slow onset of diseases…and that may be why this poem rang so true when I saw it yesterday:

Otherwise
I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
-Jane Kenyon

As the first frost gilds the lawn outside and dormancy begins for many plants and animals, what better time to reflect on all that’s going right in the world – knowing that one day it could be otherwise?

I’m thankful for: a bountiful garden this year, the learning experience of failed crops (and having enough access to food that a few failed crops do not leave us hungry), electric heat on a cold morning, a beautiful house, sunlight on the last yellow maple leaves, getting up in the morning to do meaningful work, the health of family and friends, warm furry cats to snuggle with, a steady paycheck, living nestled in these ancient mountains, coffee, pillow forts, my dear husband and his welcoming family, brightly colored pillows, a healthy body and mind, old photos that have not been lost or damaged, cinnamon-scented candles, hot showers, another morning to wake up and welcome the day….

This may be part one of several. Happy November, folks…what are you thankful for?

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