I returned to Boston yesterday from an incredible weekend in Tampa. When I stepped out of the airport the snow was coming down in large, joyful flakes. The snow continued to come down all the way into the night. As I lay in bed last night with the snow blanketing the world outside I hugged the covers up 'round my neck and I read from Mary Oliver's new book of poetry, Swan. Every poem in this book is an instruction on being present to the incredible mystery of life and on waking up to the infinite amount of joy available everyday if we just pay attention! I admire Mary Oliver's wit, honesty and example. When I read the above poem-- for the umpteenth time-- I cried. I cried because I have a beautiful life and because I sometimes forget just how incredible life is.
Today is the Solstice-- the darkest night of the year. I'm celebrating today by keeping track of all the things that I'm grateful for. I'm carrying around my gratitude journal and everytime something happens that I'm grateful for I write it down. Everytime I remember something that I'm grateful for from this past year or from my long lived life I write it down. The list is growing and growing. Things that I never thought I'd be grateful for are suddenly ending up on the list. The most profound thing that I'm realizing is that there is actually nothing that I'm not grateful for. Nothing. When I had this thought a few hours ago I wrote on a new page of my journal: Things I'm NOT grateful for. Everytime I've gone to write something on that list I realized that there was actually something in that to be grateful for and I added it to the gratitude list.
"Joy is not made to be a crumb," and neither is gratitude. As the year comes to an end I encourage you to get a journal and write on the front of it: GRATITUDE. Write in it everyday. It doesn't matter how small or large the feeling of gratitude. Write it down. And when you write down someone's name in this list let them know in someway-- a card, a phone call, a text. When you see your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors hug them and say, "I'm so grateful for you."
If you were next to me right now I'd be wrapping my arms around you and whispering in your ear, "I'm so grateful for you!"