The surprising result of keeping a gratitude list–whether mentally or on paper–is not that you end up with something to show for it–Look! I’ve got 652 things I’m grateful for–but that you invariably train yourself to pay attention. To look carefully(or listen). To stop long enough to notice and expect to see something.
My friend Natalie inspired me with her list of Gifts and Graces recently; every other item resonated in a “me, too!” kinda way. Anyone who is is an avid fan of Bananagrams is a friend for life.
Following her lead, here is my list of gifts and graces:
- Warm socks. Especially the brightly colored ones.
- Hot, strong coffee.
- The detritus of dead leaves. Yes, I have to gather them, but they leave me a clear view to the sky.
- Chickadees that bounce and jump from twig to branch. Nonstop, just to make me smile. (I can see them more easily now. See #3 above.)
- Hummingbirds who whir and dart like iridescent jewels.
- Deep conversations with friends who know and love you.
- Jigsaw puzzles because they make you keep trying ’til everything fits.
- Sharp pencils.
- Down comforters (see warm socks above).
- Fire in the fireplace that says ‘grab a book and slow down.’
- A row of elementary children in the front of church with their innocent smiles (especially the blond with the wraparound shades and the flame patterned ballcap. Especially him.)
Simple graces–will you look for gifts this week? We have so much to be grateful for.