Saturday, October 20, 2007

Counting mercies

Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.

-Charles E. Jefferson (1860-1937)

Why do we put the years of birth and death after someone's name when we quote them? I have never understood that. Maybe it's an identifier, like using your birth date in place of your social security number. Maybe it makes the quote that much more impactful to know that it was said by someone who is now dead, or that by calculating the years in their life we may be able to calculate their level of quote worthiness, or perhaps they died young and those little parentheses disclose their great wisdom...beyond their years. Whatever the reason, I am not one to break with tradition. Charles E. Jefferson was born in 1860.....and died in 1937. Amen.

I have been inspired (by a magazine, lest you feel impressed at my depth of character,) to begin compiling a list of things that I am grateful for.

I have said before that gratitude is our first and best defense against the cancer of bitterness and anger. And so now, I open wide and swallow heaping spoonful of my own medicine.

I am pleased to introduce Counting Mercies. A compelling compilation of incredibly ordinary things in my life that make it worth the trip; intentionally starting the week in the right direction, no matter what loops and u-turns await in the days ahead. So, join the parade. Compile your own catalog of gratitude and email the link to me on Sunday or Monday: collectingraindrops at gmail dot com and I will link. Some weeks it will be a great big list, other days a few words or a paragraph. There's almost no rules. I think it will be good for the heart, as "Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." -G. B. Stern (1890-1973)

Our inaugural theme:

Organic Gratitude

Some things I am grateful for:

1. Farmers that grow pumpkins in expansive fields, with the mountains and trees in regal attendance.
2. The Universal Hi Sign of touching noses.
3. The magic in a little red wagon that slows the minutes and helps us one remember the joys of childhood, even when it has lost it's appeal.
4. The first snow of the season, and how it blankets the gritty, indulgent air of summer. I think the fall and winter must be more conservative, the way the earth covers herself up and the way the trees change their attire for a more formal affair.

5. Pumpkins as big as Buicks.

6. White Christmas Chili on a cold evening.

7. Children of friends, whom I love, tell me that I am their favorite. And I believe them...and let them eat cupcakes for dinner.

8. Pansies, shivering in their baskets, still bloom and flaunt their purple faces in the snow.

9. The biting breeze that begs for ladies to festoon their wardrobe with long, bright scarves, so that it looks like we are playing dress up right out in front of the world.

10. Maple leaves and Ash trees in their deepening hues.

What are you thankful for?


painted maypole said...

oh, a great idea! I woke up late this morning, and so spent it rushing around trying to get The May Queen out the door, but took a moment for a prayer of thanksgiving that we had soft beds to sleep in, a roof to keep the rain out, and food to pack in the lunchboxes.

Lori said...

Well, first, I am thankful for this post- because it gave me such a warm feeling this morning on this blustery day (said Winnie the Pooh).

Today, I am thankful for my oldest son's best friend. I am even going to send him a note in the mail telling him how glad I am he is my son's friend. My son needed him yesterday, and he was there for him without question. He is a good boy, and a good friend.

And you are making me think we need to visit a pumpkin patch this week!

Furrow said...

I'm grateful for thoughtful bloggers who write such lovely posts.

And for undisturbed wildlife in my yard in the early morning.

Christine said...

for rainbows (see my post today)

and for you.

Hannah said...

I needed this. I'm thankful for my son, and for popsicles, and for kittens that sleep all night long curled up against my belly.

Oh, The Joys said...

I like that nose touching thing.

the dragonfly said...

I'm thankful for my son's laugh, and the smile that greets me every morning when I peek into his crib.