Gratitude


One Small Thing

Most of you who visit me regularly know of the recent events in Louisiana, my home state, that have caused great loss and sorrow for so many affected by the flooding there. Many of those people are family, friends and friends of friends.  Hell, they are all human beings!  I have been unable to do much from so far away to help them other than to pray, encourage, offer an ear and contribute when and where I will be able.  For those of us who are conscientious, caring and empathetic beings, there is that part of us that feels guilty for not going through the same pain, sorrow and loss.  The sun shines in the sky every day in my current world and on the flip side of that coin, we are in a severe dry spell here.  Then my mind goes to an even larger view where I look at the world at large, knowing there are horrors taking place in every moment of every day that we live, things over which I have no control but to, yet again, pray and do as my conscience and circumstance might allow.

I am happy to say that although the situation back home is still heart wrenching as it unfolds for each one who has lost their homes, memories and hard earned belongings, they are working together to rebuild, to clear out what is lost and share what they have with one another.  I hope and pray that the idea of sharing what we have can carry over even after the shadow of disaster has passed. It saddens me to see many who use even these circumstances to further political agendas and fight perpetual petty mini wars in the face of what is going on.  But then I don’t like or support such things even in the best of times.

moon and turtles aug 2016 099.NEF

So I do what I know to do when my heart is seeking solace, my mind needing to rest from worry and a sense of helplessness.  I turn to nature.  With bread in hand and a package to mail, we headed to the post office.  Once done with our errand we stopped by the park to visit our friends there.  The squirrels were a bit offended that we did not bring nuts and turned their noses up at the mere chunks of bread we offered, and the birds were more than excited.  But…..it was the turtles that were the most eager for a bite, coming up on shore by the dozens, with heads upturned and not leaving until we had tossed out all the morsels we brought with us.  While there was one minor skirmish among the Ibis, the turtles did not seem to have agendas, waiting their turn, hoping for a nice chunk, and slipping back into the water when they either got a piece or missed out.  When my husband tossed a slice into the water, more than one latched on but they didn’t steal from each other.  They each nibbled from their own corner.

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They weren’t being fed by us for the rest of the week, the month and didn’t know or care if we would be back.  They live on waiting for opportunity and providence to provide.  But when opportunity arrives they don’t question it or judge what kind of benevolent being is feeding them.  We could take a lesson and be appreciative every day of our lives, not just when things go terribly wrong.

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Living with gratitude is not as easy as it sounds.  Life gets tough, messy, frightening, challenging, angry-and just plain boring at times.  That is why it is so important to look beyond what happens within our own social circles.  We may not be able to change the world, but knowing what is happening in it gives us the chance to share what we can, even if it is simply fervent prayer and positive thoughts.  Sometimes it could be so much more….

moon and turtles aug 2016 094.NEFmoon and turtles aug 2016 095.NEF

So this was my afternoon……one small thing made my day.  I hope you have the chance to connect with nature in your own way.  It is such a simple system for Mother Earth.  Have a great week.  Love ya!

Cheryl

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17 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. We’ve been through losing so much, and starting over. Making the shift to gratitude was everything in terms of our survival, and sometimes my day was a series of small thankfulness “prayers” for things that many people take for granted: roof over our heads, food in our belly, running water, safe place for cats-with-us, brother that loves me, best-husband-in-the-world. I know somewhere out there is a quote about the zillion small things that make a lifetime. MOST focus on the big events but I think it is the small events, noticed, that cause the shift in the heart. BTW, I keep a gratitude journal that started when the losses happened.

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    1. You have my sincere empathy for your losses Kate. I used to allow myself to sink into bouts of depression and feelings of lack, although honest times of turmoil. But it would be so hard to climb back out of those pits of despair. I still allow myself the honest emotions we all need to express and feel but I begin my thankfulness mantra even when Im weeping and soon my heart begins to feel the gratitude envelope the pain in loving embrace of acceptance. It’s so hard at times to find that place but it is a good place to find. Thanks.

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      1. Yes to the honest emotion of crying and losses. I think a lot of depression comes from holding back the real grief… when I cry I tend to move through it. When my former husband died I asked the Rabbi about the women I knew who were still depressed and grieving ten years later. He told me that will not be me because they had not cried adequately, but held it in and so forth (sometimes for their kids.) Huggs.

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      2. Thanks Kate. I am so sorry for your loss. I feel we, as humans, mistakenly make decisions about what is good for others in our lives when we could be setting a better example by allowing them to see (and help us) work through our own emotions…

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  2. I enjoyed reading this so much, Cheryl. To be able to find things to be thankful for, especially in the midst of troubling times, is so important. Not only did you show that, you showed us that it doesn’t have to be a big tall thing. It can be a simple act from one species to another (so you think it would work between people). We’re still keeping the folks in Louisiana in our thoughts and prayers.

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    1. There were dozens of them. I have a photo of all their little heads popping up in the water to see eho was there. For a moment I envisioned a turtle horror film but then it was just too comical for me and I had to laugh.

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    1. My life has been full of small things for which I am thankful Julia. Things alot of people might not think to notice. In this way I have learned not to be disappointed in what is not there. Thanks. Have a great week!

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    1. Ha, well, in this park the animals are every accustomed to people bringing food. The squirrels sit up and beg like trained dogs Harold. They just cone if they think you have food. 😀

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