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Gratitude is the understanding that many millions of things come together and live together and mesh together and breathe together in order for us to take even one more breath of air, that the underlying gift of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something, rather than nothing. Even if that something is temporarily pain or despair, we inhabit a living world, with real faces, real voices, laughter, the color blue, the green of the fields, the freshness of a cold wind, or the tawny hue of a winter landscape. – David Whyte 

At this current moment, I am sitting outside, watching my daughter play tennis while enjoying the cooler weather, the sun shining on my keyboard, the words appearing one by one on the screen. I take a breath, smelling the sunscreen mix with the unidentifiable, but satisfying scent of the outdoors. It’s a privilege, I think, to engage in this moment. I don’t underestimate the meaning of Whyte’s words, “that the underlying fight of life and incarnation as a living, participating human being is a privilege; that we are miraculously, part of something rather than nothing.” Gratitude unfolds as an easier practice when the somersault of time has a predictable cadence, the rhythm easy and smooth. It’s when the terrain is uneven and unwieldy emotions arch over the whole that the tendency is to forget the small goodnesses in our life.

I’ve given into the curve, the one where the car rounds the corner and it takes a few moments to correct and land in a position that feels more natural. But does this mean I am not grateful for those scary, sad, melancholy specks of time? The sheer terror of some of those seconds center my commitment toward gratitude. Although I appreciate the sentiment of Thanksgiving, my gaze is toward trying to cultivate gratitude as a daily practice. This is difficult to maintain on those days lined with irritation, negativity and twisted emotions. I am the first one to admit in the middle of a conflict with my loved ones, it isn’t always easy to conjure the thread of gratitude. But I am convinced this is the best place to practice and be mindful. I cannot always handpick my moments – I am not in the position to do so nor do I yearn to curate a perfect life. I long to stand, knee-deep in the middle of the certain and uncertain moments, with the hope I can learn from what I am witnessing.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May you always be grateful for the life you are living. Thank you for  reading and and sharing this space with me.

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