Welcome! This is a place to share how we celebrate & deepen our relationship to Nature. Here you will find stories, images, & ideas about wilderness, human nature, & soulfulness. Drawing from the experiences of everyday living, the topics on this blog include: forays into the natural world, the writing life, community service, meditation, creativity, grief & loss, inspiration, & whatever else emerges from these. I invite you on this exploration of the wild within & outside of us: the inner/outer landscape.

Friday, November 1, 2013

So Much About Gratitude Now

I know that these blog posts are strewn with entries about gratitude. Even those that are not in the “thanks giving” month of November have been layered and painted, woven and collaged, dotted with and enwrapped in images and words about gratefulness.

It is not lost on me that the inner and outer landscapes of my life, and the lives of those around me, are totally and unabashedly blessed. I am fully aware that those blessings are falling out of my mouth, oozing out my skin, worn on the wide fat smile of my face, bouncing in my lighthearted steps across yesterday’s dusty golden hillside, and finding their worthy wordsome way into all of my writing, not least – these blogs. And why would I want to apologize for, or worse yet stifle, this predominating theme in my days?

So, it is that month again – the time devoted to gratitude, marked by the beginning of the holiday season, colored with the foliage that brilliantly gleams in this morning sunlight. I wondered during my quiet time in the predawn stillness if I could manage a month of consecutive weekly blog posts on the topic of gratitude. My journaling indicates I can.

Gratitude, gratefulness, requires a presence in the moment, a presence in the right-now of our lives. Gratitude is about these words coming onto the page, and the heater’s clicks and whirrs, and the sounds of a sigh from the other room, and the coffee slightly cooled in the cup next to me, and the early morning sunshine just touching the corner of my desk at which I sit now typing.

Hope speaks in the now, but it lives in the future; it is the wish for something. The memory of gratitude is in the photo I took of shimmering golden leaves overhead as I walked home yesterday. But that is not gratitude; it is remembering that I was – then - grateful. 

Gratitude speaks in the now, is immediate, is present. Gratitude is like meditation; it grounds us in the soil of this moment. It makes me aware of the small exhale of breath and how that feels in the center of my stomach. Gratitude roots itself in noticing right now how the sunlight has shifted on the wooden corner of my desk, how silent the house is now that everybody has left or settled into midmorning naps, what shape the stain of coffee grounds takes in the bottom of my cup.

Gratitude. Thanks. Gratefulness. Appreciative acknowledgment. How wholly holy is the sacred practice of noticing right now, with our lips in the shape of a grin, and saying “I am grateful!”

All blog images created and/or photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted.