Thursday, November 24, 2005

Random Disconnected Thoughts on Gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving but it’s not a special day to me. It seems odd to me that we allocate one day to express thanks and on that day we do so by participating in ritual gluttony. Ah, that is a strange and curious custom that we have but I refuse to go down that path. Rather I choose to focus on life lived with continuing gratitude.

I experience happiness but happiness seems shallow and fleeting without gratitude. I feel content but contentment is a hazy fog without gratitude.

I wake up each morning with gratitude which is difficult to explain and describe. Somehow, gratitude is a constant feeling or experience or attitude that makes the world seem right and good and sacred. I am not my own creator. I am not all powerful – not omnipotent – so I cannot control the world, my life, my present or my future. Gratitude is a way of acknowledging my dependence on and relationship with the Mysterious Unknown.

Continuing gratitude makes me thankful for life, for struggle and hardship, for challenge and success and failure. It wasn’t always like this. A bad first marriage and years of struggle and a growing feeling of hopelessness were not lived with gratitude. Somehow a miracle occurred and I was given a second chance at life. For this opportunity, I am thankful.

I enjoy the feeling of insignificance and fragility that I experience in nature. I like hiking in remote areas without telling anyone my location or plans. It can be foolish and stupid and dangerous but I’m thankful for this experience of solitude. In some inexplicable way it enriches me and makes me feel so alive and grateful. More important to me is the opportunity for semi-solitude as I share these experiences with Julie.

Sometimes, it’s difficult or impossible to order and prioritize lists. I’m thankful for my life and I’m thankful for my wife and the time and experiences that we share. For which am I more thankful? I can’t say. The two are intertwined and inseparable. It truly feels like “two who have become one”. For this I am thankful. Things can be replaced but Julie cannot. If forced to choose I say “I’m most thankful for Julie. I can’t imagine life without her.”

4 Comments:

Blogger Cindy said...

Happy Thanksgiving.

I appreciate your words of gratitude and appreciation for your wife and the life you have together. Scott and I have been married fifteen years, and we're still finding things about each other that we very much like and weren't aware of while continuing to enjoy the reliable good company of each other's presence, whether in conversation or silence. I'd not thought about this consciously in awhile, and I'm grateful for the reminder. Brightness on you both.

Cindy

11/24/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

What a lovely testimony to your relationship with your wife, and also to the benefits of solitude and a quiet walk. Yes, every day is a day of gratitude - especially when we know how to live life through the hardships and struggle.

11/24/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

"Continuing gratitude" is the concept I'm living every day, in spite of the fact that I indulged in the rituals of yesterday. :)

Well written, thanks for the words. ec

11/25/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Gaye said...

bad first marriage, years of struggling, growing hopelessness...and then a miracle occurred! I'm hoping for this miracle... I wonder if it will come...

11/26/2005 01:27:00 PM  

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