On the last day that I rode the bus in to work before the Christmas break, the mist lay along the river valleys and the bare winter tree branches filigreed the grey sky. My heart caught and I breathed thanks for the beauty all around me.
I remembered a time when I didn’t really notice the natural world around me. When I was a child and adolescent I was too wrapped up in survival to take much notice outside of my tight little sphere, plus I was living in suburban Los Angeles. Yet as I got older and started to go camping and out into nature, I fell in love with and found my spirituality and my deepest self in the natural environment. I did notice and celebrate the seasons, subtle as they were in Southern California.
The point I’m rambling up to is that if we aren’t grateful right where we are and with what we have, then we won’t be when we get the things we think we want or to where we think we want to be. Just over two years ago, I had left Devon and moved back to the US in a mis-guided attempt to find home and a sense of family. After a few weeks I realised the futility of my quest and that I felt more ‘me’ in England. So I returned and spent the better part of the year finding home inside and learning to appreciate my life now, not when or if. I did have a pretty clear idea of my ideal life and instead of feeling the lack and chasing after it, I decided to be still and make a tiny change in my life every day to expand it and contain what I wanted more of. I settled into my life in a way that made sense and fit in with who I am. I gave up the search for where I belong, but shaped the world around me, my world, to belong to me. It was a big relief and it works! PS it’s nice for the people around me too.
One of the paradoxes about gratitude is that when one becomes grateful, one isn’t stuck with or settling for their lot. What happens is that when you feel gratitude for all the good that you have in your life, without even making any efforts you are throwing open wide the doors to bring even more abundance of good things into your life.
I like this quote which seems to be about being grateful always.
“Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.”
– Satchel Paige