Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wake Up Calls

A friend of mine was working in her garden yesterday, doing a bit of pruning, and fell off the ladder, conking her head pretty soundly and fracturing her tibia. A rather inglorious end to a lovely day in her yard. She called me from the emergency room, and I began doing affirmative prayer work for her, which I have continued, as today she had surgery to repair and set the leg.

What has come to me is how easily we forget to be grateful for those tiny conveniences that life affords us, while we think we have little for which to be grateful. I turned my ankle a few years back, and climbing the steps to the Post Office without pain became something to be sought. It is not the big things in life that bring us delight. It is those truly simple pleasures that we forget until they are gone. As Thich Nhat Hanh has said, we don't think to be grateful for the "non-tooth-ache."

So today, I am grateful for:
Being able to breathe easily, without artificial assistance
Walking, climbing stairs, dancing, moving without pain
A roof over my head and utilities to heat and cool it
Green grass, blue skies, flowers, trees and squirrels
Fresh clean water to drink with the simple movement of a handle
Transportation that gets me safely to and from my destination
All the places in my body that do not ache and are not in discomfort
The ability and freedom to get up and go to the bathroom on my own
Eyes that see - and the ability to read books, and the glasses to help me do so
Ears that hear music and friends' voices and loud noises and whispers
Chairs to sit in and floors to lay on when I feel like it
Lights that allow me to sit up at night after the sun goes down
A computer with internet that works
And ten thousand things which cannot be named, but matter the moment I lose them and realize I have taken them for granted.

I wish for myself the wisdom to see the grace-filled moments that comprise my day, my life. I wish this for all of us, the world over. Erika Luckett has written a beautiful song, one of the lines of which is "If you're not in awe, you're not paying attention." Let us pay attention to the gifts which surround us every moment of every day.