Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. . . Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here, which is gratitude, to be a given a mind and heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy.Mary Oliver, “The Messenger”
Three friends and I hiked near Mount Hood in Oregon this summer. It was warm enough that you didn’t need a coat but cold enough that snow stayed on the ground. Around each tree trunk, the snow was melted, the dark dirt circled with a halo of white.
As we hiked, the path was hard to follow. Sometimes we were on a clear dirt trail, and other times we were on snow. We would keep moving forward looking for clues that said, “This! This is it. You’re on the trail.”
Other times we found clues that said, “Um, you’d better look at your map.”
We made it home that day by moving forward, one step at a time. This chunk of the trail, and then the next.
So cheers to finding the trail again, and again, and again. To gratitude season, and to all of the things that change this time of year–the leaves, the clock, warmer clothes. All of it has us on this trail of life, even if we can’t always see the path or know just where it’s going. One step at a time. We got this.
It’s a grace to me to know that some times the trail even has a way of finding us.
p.s. A friend asked me recently, “What is Gratitude Gal up to for Thanksgiving? I need a gratitude practice!” So, I made a handy-dandy printable for the next three weeks. All you need to do is print it and jot down three gratitudes each day. Enjoy!
This and That
- Worth a listen: Tree of Forgiveness by John Prine. This was his last album before he died in 2020, and it is everything I love about John Prine. The last song, “When I get to heaven,” just plain makes me smile.
- Worth a listen: Kelly Corrigan Wonders. I might have written about this one before, but each week she shares an obituary or a speech that someone has sent in. It always re-sets me to what matters. I love this podcast.
- Worth a watch: The Martian. This is a bit of an old movie, but someone put it on my radar, and it was a good night at the movies. Botany in a plot line–nerd love. Also, Matt Damon was my middle school crush in Good Will Hunting, so there’s that.
- Something that’s inspiring me: Art! I just got to see Six the musical in Minneapolis. The colors, the harmony, and the sheer bombardment of beauty had me crying in the first minute! I am thankful for artists who share their gifts in ways that fill me with awe and remind me just how beautiful life can be.
May right now be a time to slow down, a time to notice, and say thanks.