Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Finding gratitude

Things I'm grateful for. Past. Present. Forever.


Number One: As always, this planet Earth, which shelters us in the vast, mysterious universe. This is where every other thing I'm grateful for lives.(Photo credit: NASA)

Family holidays can bring out the best and worst in people. When I awakened at 2 a.m. and began to fret and mull, I stopped myself by pulling out a journal and writing down miscellaneous things that have brought me joy.
Here are some things I'm grateful for, including a holiday that suggests we consider our blessings. This isn't meant to be comprehensive or chronological. It just is.
My father's weekend waffles, so golden and warm.
Hawks adrift above me.
The first time I looked into my daughter's eyes.
Candlit dinners in my mother-in-law's house. I knew I'd found home.
Snowy peaks floating in oceans of clouds.
Visiting ladybugs.
The boys who showed me how to catch tadpoles in murky ponds.
The babysitting job that earned me cash for my first surfboard.
My grandmother's love. No matter what.
Maple syrup on fresh snow.
Waves as translucent as emeralds.
Reading Yeats by a peat fire in Sligo. Painting at a window looking at Ben Bulben.
Whiskey and a pint on a blustery night in Dublin.
Friends who hold drum circles to celebrate life.
Critique buddies who laugh at my jokes and believe in my characters and still point out how I can make it better.
My teenage discovery of Tolkien, Bradbury, Vonnegut, Hesse, Hardy.
Coconut body butter.
Standing in a room full of Van Gogh paintings in Paris. Surrounded by Botticelli and Da Vinci in Florence.
The morning's first cup of coffee.


TerryLynnJohnson said...

Love love love. Great post.

Nicole said...

Awesome list and what a great way to get yourself into the right mind set :)

L.T. Elliot said...

I love the many varied things on here, like maple syrup on snow. How cool that you surf!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yat-Yee said...

Lovely. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Unknown said...

Love the list. Haven't tried maple syrup in snow, but right now there plenty of the white stuff outside my window. :(

*runs off to find the maple syrup*

Donna said...

You're my role model for gratefulness . . . and your list is so poetic.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@TerryLynn: That comment made me happy.

@Nicole: It really worked. Some of the items were bittersweet, but that's fine, too.

@LT: Thanks! Um, the surfing is past tense now, altho I have taken a boogie board out from time to time.

@Yat-Yee: Thanks and same to you!

@Stina: Oh, I hope you don't get tooooo much snow, but for sure grab the maple syrup. Yum.

@Donna: Aw, thank you so much. The list did come from the heart & soul.

Liza said...

Wish I thought to do that when I woke up fretting. Tonight I will. Happy Thanksgiving Tricia.

Jemi Fraser said...

LOVE your list!! You should also be grateful for the gift you have with words and images - your phrasing is always so lovely. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! :)

I haven't had maple syrup poured fresh in the snow in years - I'm definitely going to do it this year!

Anonymous said...

I love this list and it prompted me to think about what I'm grateful for. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Liza: It's an excellent anti-fret maneuver. ;)

@Jemi: Oh, thank you. What a lovely thing to say. :D
I used to live in maple country and the neighbors would boil up fresh syrup. It was sooooo good when snow fell in clean, fluffy heaps.

@Medeia: Thank you! I'm so glad it's resonating.

VR Barkowski said...

What a heartfelt and inspiring list, thank you.

Hope your Thanksgiving is perfect.

Natasha said...

What a wonderful list. I may swipe your idea tomorrow, and if you find some of your things on my list, just realise I value them as much.

And thank you for being in my life.

Wen Baragrey said...

I'm grateful for this post. Beautiful, Tricia.


Terrific list. Honest and heartfelt. All of them wonderful, and I especially liked the list of authors you discovered--that is such an exciting moment, in hindsight.

Thanks for posting it, and I hope you have a wonderful Turkey Day.

The Words Crafter said...

This was a great read and I can't help but wonder...when can I read the book? You've had some great adventures....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Viva: Wishing you a perfect day, too. :)

@Rayna: Aw, I'm glad you liked it that much! I, too, am grateful to have found you.

@Wen: Thanks, my friend, and I'm still sending tons of good thoughts your way for your family.

@Samuel: Thank you. I can remember how my world expanded when I read those authors. Since then, many others have come into my life, but there's always a special time when you're young and realize the possibilities. :)

@WordsCrafter: Ha! Hadn't thought of it that way. You make me smile.

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful list, Tricia. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Angela Ackerman said...

That was beautiful to read and really illustrates how it is the little things that make us whole. Happy Thanksgiving!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

* said...

Visiting ladybugs & coconut body butter. Amen, sister.

PS: Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Talli: Thanks, and I did!

@Angela: I like that comment about the little things making us whole. Thank you.

@Terresa: Love that body butter...I did have a good one. I hope you did, too. :)

Paul C said...

This is a wonderful post. How true about some family members providing challenges. Your list of items providing gratitude is so rich with potential like enjoying a room of van Goghs.

Phoenix said...

Maple syrup on fresh snow? I just died and went to gratitude heaven. :)

Beautiful post, Tricia. We all have so much to be grateful for and stoppling and giving thanks - if for only a moment or two - makes everything new again in our lives.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@PaulC: Thank you!

@Phoenix: Best if it's the real-deal maple--soooo good.
You're right that gratitude is renewing. :)