My spiritual formation took a big leap forward when a beloved mentor taught me the importance of an “attitude of gratitude.” To keep Thanksgiving all year long, to say thank you every day for the simple to the sublime, promises a life sweeter and happier. Saying thanks enriches the soul and the heart. So as a reminder of this principle, I celebrated something or someone each day in November. Here’s the collection.
Today I’m thankful for…
1. The love of my life, Vito.
2. The community of dear friends near and far who walk with me on this journey. “I get by with a little help from my friends…” (Thank you John Lennon).
3. All the artists I know—you painters and printmakers, actors and musicians, poets and memoirists, potters and designers, photographers and sculptors. Thank you for deepening my experiences of mystery, beauty, joy, sorrow and pity. Without the gifts of your art, life would be far less sweet.
4. Today, as I finish putting the garden to bed, I’m thankful for the poetry of nature. Hope is—the array of tiny buds that lie just beneath the stems I cut down.
5. Adored nieces and nephews of three generations. You live in my heart!
6. My sister Elsa and bro Herb Edmonds—bless you both for who you are.
7. The sweet, heady aroma of citrus in a sugar bath, the anticipation of lids popping shut on orange-lime-ginger marmalade, and weeks of happy breakfasts ahead
8. The truth that emerges every time from the act of creating something. Delicious poem or delicious dinner—loving the profound surprise underlying the effort.
9. Life with Vito. Today we enter our fifth year of partnership, discovery, friendship, intimacy, blessing. Deeply thankful.
10. All the people, events and circumstances that have made me who I am. Embracing the joy and the struggles. Living blessed.
11. All the women and men in service, past and present, who put their lives on the line every day. Honoring you is such a privilege.
12. All those here for good, especially aid workers assisting typhoon survivors in the Philippines. Most of us can’t go, but they go for us.
13. The sunlight that is shining right into the living room, so brightly that Vito said, “How about a baseball cap.” Loving this day!
14. All the terrific hair people I’ve known, on a day when I’m going for a hair cut. They always helped me look my very best, and I was lucky to have long-term gigs with them—Dennis (Park Ridge, Illinois), Joe (Watertown, Connecticut), Jody (Philadelphia), Gail (West Hartford) and now Michael (Vermont). All very gifted, bright lights in my life.
15. A 14-year friendship with sister of the heart Theresa Spear, renewed today at her beautiful renovated bungalow right here in Vermont.
16. The simplicity of life here in Vermont, the things that count: sunshine, garden, good food, good love, friends to share and care with, beauty all around.
17. The satisfying ritual of morning coffee beside the wood stove, and for the gorgeous blue jay hopping about just beyond, among the big rocks in the garden. Feeling blessed.
18. The possibility of a new week, a new day, a new moment to live in.
19. The people who come to the house to help with tasks—the ones who mulch the gardens, bring the wood, install the snowplow, grade and plow the lower road, fill the propane tank, level the shed. What would we do without these folks? So appreciative.
20. A hero—Abraham Lincoln—for a profoundly stirring piece of writing and oratory, celebrated yesterday: the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. I hope this country can keep working toward the promise underlying the words “dedicated to the proposition that all…are created equal.” I’m thankful, and humble that we have so far to go.
21. Dear Mom Nature, thank you for last night’s gorgeous fireball that streaked so quickly toward the mountain in our southwest sky. So happy I had my eyes open! You’re the best! Love, Linda
22. Our town’s librarian, Connie. She goes beyond stocking an array of interesting reads. She introduces patrons to one another. Always has a smile and kind word. Our library is a place “where everyone knows your name.”
23. The fun in housekeeping—polishing everything til it shines, the sweetness of fresh sheets, soup on the stove. Life is good, yea!
24. The brilliant sunshine glazing our snowy world with light, and the crystalline air. Loving this early winter morning!
25. The spectacular show of stars and planets last night and early this morning. “Oh earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you” (Thank you, Thornton Wilder).
26. All the memorable teachers who mentored me, shared their wisdom, helped me discern my path, cheered me on through years of schooling, and led me to be a lifelong learner.
27. For the safety and warmth of home in the midst of a storm that has ranged from snow to freezing rain and back. Traveling mercies to all who must be on the road this day.
28. Thanksgiving Day—Today I’m thankful for friends and family who share the path with me, for my partner Vito, and for those who have taught me the joy of mindful living. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
29. The people in my online community whose postings this week have caused me to think outside the usual little boxes. And for scholars like Louis Henry Gates and journalists like Nicholas Kristof, whose work just makes the boxes go away entirely. Heart full of gratitude this day!
30. On this last day of the month, I’m reflecting on all the thanksgivings I’ve read and written here. Pretty amazing! Today’s gratitude is about hope—hope in a future, hope for a continuing “attitude of gratitude,” hope for compassion, hope that the whole human family will eventually have enough of what we need to sustain a good life.