Four pounds of produce from my front yard - harvested Sunday June 24, 2018
I thought about a gentle reminder I got this morning from a dear friend of mine in regard to my deep distress over the President's treatment of the families of immigrants in South Texas. She said that at least he signed that executive order halting the disbursement of children to cities thousands of miles from their families with no mechanism in place for later tracing and reuniting them. "That's something to be thankful for", she said.
And I thought: "Yes that is indeed something to feel grateful for and I do." I allowed myself to feel thankful that this has been accomplished.
It's interesting what gratitude does to us. For me it brings a feeling of relief from stress somewhat like the exhalation of a sigh. Perhaps the feelings of gratitude are feelings of love. At any rate gratitude, like love certainly produces a sense of well-being, a state of grace. Also, gratitude seems to come upon me in waves once I allow myself to be grateful about one small thing. And that's what happened to me this morning.
After truly feeling grateful that children will no long be sent away, I felt grateful for having a friend like Deborah to remind me to be thankful for what is, even if I feel like at the time it is not enough. That is important. Then thinking of Deborah reminded me of all the other friends and family I have that I am also grateful for and I allowed myself to feel gratitude for them.
I went into my poor, neglected yard and harvested four pounds of vegetables and fruit. When I first planted this garden five years ago, I carefully weighed and tracked every single thing I harvested. That first year I harvested 625 pounds of produce and figured the value, given current market value at just over $1000. I was indeed grateful. Today I remembered all the food my garden has yielded for me over the past five years and I am grateful. I even weighed the produce today--something I haven't done from my garden for at least three years.
Gratitude is expressing thanks to the world and to our friends for the gifts we are given. Gratitude comes with its own rewards. I've kept a gratitude journal off and on now for over 15 years. A friend of mine in California gave it to me. I'll faithfully write in several days of gratitude and then I'll put the journal away and sometimes not pick it up again until months even years later. I'll have to look for it again now that I've thought of it. I've never been one to keep a regular diary of any sort.
Gratitude is not to be confused with complacency. Just because one feels grateful, it does not necessarily mean a task is finished. It is often a necessary wide spot in the road of an uphill climb where we stop to rest and gather strength with the remembrance of good things that have been achieved.