Gratitude

December 14, 2010

Caleb

heritage-variety tom turkey

This turkey is grateful he didn't wind up on someone's Thanksgiving plate

I was reminded after Thanksgiving that I don’t think about and express gratitude often enough. Going around the table at supper and saying what you’re grateful for may be the traditional thing to do on Thanksgiving, but for me it’s distinctly an untraditional activity within the scope a whole year. Giving thanks is a radical departure from the negativity, cynicism, criticism, complaining, and entitlement which I regularly encounter and, I’m sorry to say, all too often take part in myself. I find it really easy to be ungrateful and hard to be grateful. Gratitude makes you vulnerable since to truly show your gratitude you have to reveal what you value, and when you show what you value, you show those who want to hurt you where to attack. Of course there exist things of which you should be ungrateful, but I spend a disproportional amount of energy on the things of which I’m ungrateful versus the things of which I should be grateful. Lest this post be all about how I’m ironically ungrateful for ungratefulness, I want to share some of the things that I’ve been grateful for in the past year.

I’m grateful for people: I’m grateful for the generosity of Kristin’s family, who are letting Kristin, Lucy, and I as well as two people who were strangers to them stay in their house for almost nothing. Not only are they letting us stay in their house, a special place for the Thomas/Vale family, but they often express excitement about us being here. We’ve also experienced generosity while being visitors for dinner at the Myers-Benner’s as well as at Molly and Linda’s, and Kristin, Lucy, and I were welcomed so quickly and fully into our church community here, that we still have trouble believing it. Furthermore, I’ve enjoyed the interest of the readers of this blog, even though blogs often get self-indulgent.

I’m grateful for time: One of the main reasons I wanted to do the “Thomas Farm Project” was to spend more time with Lucy and Kristin; I’ve been so glad to have the time to spend with them. I’m thankful for the time I’ve had to read. It’s been many years since I’ve been able to read so much for pleasure. I thoroughly appreciate the extra time we have to prepare and eat nutritious, flavorful meals. It’s been great to have the time, resources, and the right life stage to try new things–like working on a sustainable farm.

I’m grateful for…other things: It’s a great blessing to have space for a garden and chickens. I love being able to access plenty of fresh, local food but not having to depend upon it if it isn’t available. I’m happy that we can “re-gift” the Thomas/Vale generosity by having guests stay in the house’s extra rooms or hunt in the woods around the house.

We have such abundance: more comfort than we need, more time than we need, more space than we need, and more food than we need. What grace…and I’ve only been able to scratch the surface.

Comments

What a wonderful reminder of the importance of a grateful and open heart to lifes blessings. Thanks for the reminder.

Laura — February 5, 2011