gratitude for this one precious life

this precious, present moment
this precious, present moment

this is the post i meant to write closer to thanksgiving...about gratitude for being alive and healthy and all my many blessings...but, i got bogged down in the other stuff that gets in the way of gratitude. let's just call it a little 'funk'.

 

the month of november began with news of an old friend's passing. not 'old' in that he was old...he was not yet fifty...but, old in that i had known him for a long time. he was a vigorous and stubborn sort, so it was a bit of a surprise. although, that death should ever really be a 'surprise' is kind of funny. not funny ha ha, just strange.

 

then there was thanksgiving, which was several days of planning, procuring and cooking that culminated in about 20 minutes of actual seated eating. slow, thoughtful dining experiences just do not happen with a toddler...why do i still not know this...i'll not attempt this festive feast for just the three of us again. take out, anyone? the saving grace was some soaking and floating at indian springs (see rubber ducky above).

 

then there was my birthday...as one friend so kindly put it, my '40ish' birthday...and let's just say it was slightly heavier than i thought it would be. the 'getting older' is compounded by actually 'feeling older' since becoming a mother and by not having a full night's sleep in a couple years. there may actually be something to the whole concept of 'beauty sleep' after all. yikes.

 

anyway, now we're barreling ahead into the remaining winter holidays with rarely enough time to pause for contemplation or reflection. life just keeps marching on...ready or not...it can be a bit overwhelming, and it's difficult to find the space to process it all. but, then there's the practice...of finding inner spaciousness...that keeps calling us back. if not to actually sit in silent meditation, to at least pause and breathe and remember our one precious life. and, to be grateful for just being alive and well...perhaps that is enough...to come out of the drama and say a simple prayer for our blessings.

 

so, as an ode to gratitude...belated and belabored though it may be...and in honor of my friend stephen, on this chilly winter day, i'll leave you with this excerpt of a poem by one of my favorite poets:

 

'the summer day'

mary oliver

...I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

 

 

Write a comment

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Jonathan Reynolds (Tuesday, 14 December 2010 15:51)

    That's so beautiful... Thanks for sharing it.