On this day before Thanksgiving, near the end of a tiring and difficult year, I sit here on this rainy morning attempting to grasp the mysteries of gratitude. Loss, misunderstanding, hurt, shock, grief, and pain have left their scars. Some days were so foggy and gray the horizon was hidden. The heart and body whimpered, “I’m lost.”
Yet, breath was found. Grace was always there, waiting patiently. Anne Lamott wrote in Help, Thanks, Wow, “The movement of grace toward gratitude brings us from the package of self-obsessed madness to a spiritual awakening. Gratitude is peace.”
“Gratitude is peace.” When we are grateful, even if the world is crumbling around us, we get a glimpse of simple beauty, whether it is clean sheets, the first twinkle of Christmas lights, or a snowy morning.
Often gratitude is difficult to cultivate. The world is too harsh, like garish florescent lights that beckon us to rail against the cruelties heaped upon us. “Why should I be thankful when everything sucks?” we scream.
But then a friend sends a text that simply says, “Miss you!” Or another wraps you in a hug. And another sends a note that says, “I am so happy we met. You are a light in my life.” And a hundred birthday wishes flood your Facebook feed.
So, right now on this 23rd day of November in the year 2016, I am simply grateful, because gratitude is peace.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” - A.A. Milne