I do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the American tradition. Growing up though, I have had the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving in school as it was a mission school and gratitude to God/the Divine was part of … well… learning. So, whenever the school year ended, we would have a Thanksgiving service in our school chapel.
I think giving thanks is a rare and oft-ignored value. Gratefulness, gratitude, all these are often not acknowledged because the world is horrible, everyone is rude and things are not going your way. It’s easy to dismiss such sentiments as lazy. Yet we are all caught up in this rush, this perpetual race to something, be it a destination, a goal, a job, school, family obligations, greed, pride, etc. We all forget, I think, to be thankful or see the little blessings in our paths.
Being a writer on top of being a teacher or a mom or a daughter is a tricky thing. There are years when your writing runs dry, acceptances are scarce and your rejection list is a scroll. For many writers, the ability to write, to submit and to garner deals/acceptances/accolades, is tied so tightly and intrinsically to self/identity, so much so that depression and pain sets in when things do not go our way. I don’t want to sound sanctimonious (and many people do, for some strange reason) when other writers experience such things in their journeys. I have heard horrible one-liners like “Don’t give up” and – the odd – “Be thankful!”. I don’t know how these one-liners would help an already-grieving writer. Do you give the writer warmth if he or she needs it? Do you give the writer food if he or she is hungry?
Anyway… what I want to say is that it is hard and I acknowledge it and accept it. It is not a hard path to walk. So, I focus on little blessings, tiny tiny gold nuggets or shiny things or beautiful flowers along my way. And no, this is not going to be a list of “OMG, I have these things done!”.
For me, gratitude is the little passion flower I see along the way.
For me, gratitude is the blue skies after a rainy day.
For me, gratitude is my daughters’ hugs.
For me, gratitude is my chilli plant finally blossoming and growing chilli.
Gratitude is the physical and tangible things I see.
What do you see?