The Work Of Gratitude
I wake on a cold, snowy morning, pour boiling water into my cup of creamer rather than the french press, break dishes while putting them away, step on glass, wash away blood in the stream of water leaking from the fridge, add tears to the river, then remember it’s Sunday- the day I write gratitude posts.
It’s important on days when I feel like burning it all down, to grapple for perspective. Bitterness closes in. It’s tempting.
“FINE! I’ll settle into a hateful existence! Is that what you want, Life?!”
Life doesn’t answer.
My heart does.
I lift my eyes to the kitchen window. Light bounces from the snow. I take a deep breath. And a photo.
The day begins to brighten as I notice green leaf clippings, old etched glass, a bamboo shoot, bird feeders, and falling snow.
Breathing is easier when I relax my brow.
I will fight off bitterness as long as I can. I never intend to have a hardened heart.
I start over with the coffee, paying particular attention to the order of operations. I throw in some chocolate chips to make a mocha.
There are days when life runs smoothly. The sun shines. The birds sing. I feel loved.
There are days when I wake with a groan, and every task goes awry.
Sometimes gratitude is a feeling. It bursts in the belly and culminates in a grin.
Other times gratitude takes effort.
To notice, savor, and express- this is the practice of gratitude.
To stay soft, aware, and open- this is the work of life.