The gratitude list.
May 27, 2011 § 13 Comments
I turn the tap and water comes out. Whether hot or cold, it is never rusty like the water from the pump at my grandmother’s.
Or Kool-Aid purple like the water in the brand new subdivision I moved to in the fourth grade.
Or clouded with particulates like the water that came down the pipeline when we lived in The Keys—although even rusty, purple, or cloudy, fresh running water is an everyday miracle.
I flip the switch and a light comes on. The ceiling fan stirs the warm air in the living room.
Like the Wizard of Oz, I have no clue how any of it works and yet, thanks to the collective WE, (not to mention the Romans and Thomas Edison) I get to take these services for granted.
I am grateful that I occupy such a comfortable body. Although it is a 1951 model, and I sometimes wish I could roll back the odometer, everything still works(except for hands rendered stupid by constant typing). So thank you arms, legs, eyeballs, toes and all you other moving parts. Good work you guys!
Thank you brain for being so disorganized. You keep my body in constant motion, backtracking to finish previously started tasks, burning calories. Yesterday I wore a pedometer and discovered that you sent me on fragmented errands that added up to 6 miles–at least three of which accrued hunting for my eyeglasses. Thanks as well for your inability to multi–task thereby protecting me from being overwhelmed (taken one thing at a time life looks doable).
Thank you voice, for being there when I open my mouth to sing. I know you may not always be able to cooperate, relying as you do on a pair of vibrating membranes (original 1951 equipment). But perhaps the fact you may someday be reduced to plain-old talking only makes me hold you dearer. And so, for however long my singing voice lasts, thank you Craig Reeder for giving me the chance to sing.
Mom, thanks for teaching me your sympathetic tell–me–your-story facial expression. Without it I would know far fewer of the secret desires and stories of the human heart. And Lord knows how I would make a living.
Trees, I thank you for inventing shade, and for casting a net of bird song over my neighborhood—and for demonstrating that moving fast is probably overrated. You get my vote as the crown of creation.
Seeds, kudos to you for being as committed to producing vegetables as I am.
Thank you family. You are the envelope that protects me from an often indifferent world. Whether you approve or disapprove of what I am up to, you never fail to notice me, reassuring me that I exist.
I don’t know who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop or who put the ram in the rama lama ding-dong, but I’d like to thank that man. Some songs have a way of saying, you’re making this life-thing too complicated, taking it too seriously. Relax. Everything’s swell!
Thanks to my husband Ray for the interesting journey we are sharing. Together we have always wandered off the main path, traveling much of the time with empty pockets. But money has been less necessary because of our combined talents: mine, which is to pinch every penny, and yours, which is an uncanny ability to build, design, and repair darned near anything. Stuff other people buy with money you provide with the ingenuity of your mind and hands.
Thank you childhood memories for being good and safe. No matter what happens I have you in the bank.
Thank you optimism. Because of you I float high in the water so I struggle less paddling to where I want to go. The couple of times when circumstance has swamped you I marveled at the bravery of people who deal with the negative as their normal state of mind. So thank you glass for always being at least half full.
Thank you children. Without you the world would be drab. When my parents bought a condo in a retirement community, for my mother, a novelist, the setting appeared to be a message written in bold type: It’s over. We will warehouse you here until death takes you conveniently away. It was the absence of children in her new neighborhood that gave the message its power.
I am grateful that I live surrounded by children, and count many of you as good friends, especially the one I most often see only virtually on Skype, my grandson, Booba.
My gratitude list runs quietly in the back of my mind all the time. The things I’ve written down are just the ones that floated to the top of my Magic 8 Ball brain when I gave it a shake.
My list goes on and on and on.
I could easily add: shoes that fit, the love of a good dog, a refrigerator that makes ice cubes…but this is enough for now.
Those of you who comment on my blog always give me much to think about. What makes you grateful?