Lessons in Gratitude Day 995–Not This Day

“A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day.”
King Aragorn in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Return of the King.

I spent the better part of an hour writing on a post for this evening. It just did not seem to come together well, it was flawed and so I did what any good writer would do–I put it aside (versus virtually crumpling it up and tossing it into the virtual garbage bin.) I spun the RNG wheel about five times in search of a suitable post I could repeat rather than write an original, and while I ran across several good ones, none of them felt like the right one for this evening. And I have to write something this evening because I didn’t write Friday or yesterday. And so here we are.

Tonight I am grateful for the simplest of things. Like last week I noticed that the tufted titmice had returned to the feeder for the first time in nearly a year, and that an enormous blue jay has begun frequenting it when it can get past the sparrows and finches that voraciously attack the feeder these days. Then there’s the really good cups of tea I made for myself yesterday–the perfect balance of tangy lemon and sweet honey mellowed together with plain old black tea to serve up the perfect cup of comfort on a cold day. Perhaps it was time spent this weekend with family, laughing together as usual with my sister Ruth and her children twice this weekend. One cannot laugh too much and one cannot spend too much time in the company of much-loved kinfolk.

It is late here. I will perhaps lament being up so late and having to rise at 5:15 tomorrow morning. I will probably be tired and tomorrow night will find me half asleep writing tomorrow’s blog. Still, I am grateful to have a few words of gratitude to share with you this evening. I had hoped to make it deeply meaningful and insightful, but at the end of it all, it comes back to being grateful for the very simple, very basic things that bring moments of contentment and joy in to my life. I am simply grateful to be here in this moment right now.

Earlier I was telling  a friend how grateful I have been for all of the “difficulties” I’ve faced in recent years. “I have grown so much through all the drama,” I told her, “I really wouldn’t trade any of it because it has made me who I am today.” N brag, just fact. I had to learn the many important lessons that I learned during the difficult days. I learned to stand strong in the midst of the challenges, and by standing strong I mean learning to give up, let go, and go with the flow of whatever was happening rather than fighting and resisting where it was trying to take me and what it was here to teach me. By embracing what was happening, by–as corny as it sounds–befriending whatever showed up, I grew stronger, wiser, more internally congruent than I had been. I was ready for whatever wanted to happen next.

I am ready now for what is next. It is as it ever has been: navigating life’s challenges with a grateful heart is a way to get to what’s next. I have embraced it and it has led me right. No, I wouldn’t trade anything. I’ve learned as much from the pain as from the pleasure, from difficulty as much as ease. And while I am truthfully hoping for a little more ease in the time ahead, I’ll take what comes with as much gratitude and grace as I can muster. And so it goes.

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