Updated: Jan 3, 2020
It's good to be reminded culturally to give thanks -- at least once a year. I find it's very easy to give thanks for the dramatic, the unusual, the special, the wanted. But, how do we give thanks when things are not so rosy? How do we learn to be grateful for what we are given -- even when it is not what we want. I am reminded of the old saw (one of my mother's favorites) "Want what you have in stead of having what you want." Learning to appreciate the mundane, the ordinary, the sub par, the often disliked... I think of boredom and how I detest it -- and yet how I see my son and daughter-in-law would LOVE to have some time to be bored -- amidst their two jobs and caring for a newborn baby. I am reminded of how much I dislike rain -- and yet I see how much the rain is needed in California where wildfires rage. Learning to see the other side of what I dislike might be a form of thanksgiving for me. The Colorado poet, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer puts it this way;
To be grateful not only for flower, but also for mud, grime,
slug, slime, the dingy, the filthy, the tired,
to be grateful not only for star but also for what is prickly, thornsome,
tricky, testy, sore, to be grateful not only for warmth
but also for the cold that holds it, the chill, the bite, the nip, the freeze,
the breeze that blows always head on. To not only say thanks, but live it.
To not only know thanks, but give it.