This morning I woke up to the most amazing sky–fog silver grey hung over the backyard where I played as a young girl.  Just one brilliant orange tree broke through–as though it were the sun itself. 

Today is Thanksgiving.  We don’t really start to  celebrate until late on account of the fact that Sean, my baby brother, a New York City cop, has to work the parade.  He does this every year, even though he is now a plain clothes guy, a detective.  But he spends each Thanksgiving morning in his blue uniform surrounded by crowds and big cartoon balloons.  Max always watches the parade, not to see Santa or the Rockettes, but to try and spy a peak at his beloved Uncle.

Because of our late start we are quite lazy on this day.  While others bustle and hustle to make ready for company, we have spent the day wandering in and out of our own spaces, cooking, knitting, listening to music, reading.  The pace is slow, not manic.  We still have two more hours before anyone arrives. 

It has given me lots of time to think about cultivating gratitude in my life.    Its such a loaded word, gratitude.  Andrea, over at Superhero Journal, wrote a fabulous piece about it–about how it can, if you are not careful, become a word that turns from an instrument of grace to an instrument of torture.  How many of us, in our moments of deep deep longing have felt guilty, shamed, dog-faced because we yearned for something different instead of expressing appreciation for the blessings in our life.    Gratitude can feel like such a judgemental word when you are wishing upon a star for something other than what you have.  But longing is just the other side of gratitude.  You can’t have one without the other. 

And truth be told in the last few weeks I have known my fair share of longing.  But there is also so much to be thankful for in this little life of mine.  Here are just a few of the things on the list:

My child.  His energetic spirit–so yang and bright and expansive.  He is like a star exploding, he is  zippity do-da.  He writes love letters to his Grandmother and acts out the words to songs.  He is my joy. 

My community–the people I see every day, and those I connect with just occassionally.  Each of them support and love us so dearly.  Each of them is a blessing.

The written word.  Poetry.  Rumi. Words that I read.  Words that I write. 

Healing.  My health is on the upswing.  I recently found an amazing, brilliant and soulful doctor, and a truly gifted acupuncturist.  Thanks to them my migraines are at bay, my energy is soaring, my body is beginning to support me in a new way. 

Music.  The music that I play, the songs that I sing with Max, the music on the ipod (this at this moment), music made by people I love such as this CD my dear friend Tim, a tenor with a voice like an angel, just released.

May you have a happy and joyful Thanksgiving.  May your heart be filled with gratitude even as you wish upon a star.  And may you dearest dreams come true.

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