Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanks given

It's late and I'm writing the post of thanks. It was the kind of slow-moving, unseasonably warm day that needs gratitude. Not because it was bad, but because the way you hold the telescope determines whether things are near or far. All things felt both near and far today, like the telescope pivoted because I was sharing it with someone unseen.

I'm not always certain I appreciate slow, sunny days—days without work, days with time to ponder and question—because they give me too much time to think. I feel like I should be doing something, even when I'm determined to practice the art of doing nothing.

Today the sun was bright and the air hot, and those curling leaves on the ground were still mostly green. But it is October, and soon enough it'll be another October gone. I don't know where the years are going; I'm starting to question how I spent the years that have passed.

Today, I was thinking about killing dreams, about letting go, and the permissions we seek to do so. I was thinking a little of how the passing of people like Jack Layton or Steve Jobs makes me question what I'm doing, and if it makes a difference. If I stopped doing it, would anyone notice? And should it matter if they did?

Also, I was thinking of gratitude, not just for the things in my life but the gratitude I express to others for the things they do for me.

I don't think I've ever been the type of person who finds it easy to ask for help. Some times the little gestures mean so much because they're an expression of kindness that hasn't been asked for. And I don't think courtesy is an empty gesture. We choose to be polite, even if we were simply raised to believe it's the right way to behave.

It's not easy for me to ask for help, because I want to prove that I can do it on my own. Even when I can't, I still want to try first. So today, I'm feeling grateful for people who offer without being asked. I'm grateful for those who reach out when I'm feeling too tired to initiate contact. For those who gently guide the conversation when I'm not feeling comfortable enough to direct it.

Mostly, I'm grateful for the time to be still enough to recognize and acknowledge those moments of kindness are what save the world. Because it's the good days, and the clarity they bring, that we have to hang on to. When our stomachs and glasses are full, and there's a sense of celebration, and we feel like what we've done—even those smallest of gestures—matters.

1 comment:

Rachel V. Olivier said...

I read this earlier this month, meant to respond, and apparently didn't. I agree with you. It's nice when help is offered out of the blue. Plus, it feels better when we can do what we can on our own. But our friends also do like it when we reach out to them. I like to be thankful for all of the above.