I am lucky, blessed and overflowing. My biggest actual problem is that my daughter stuck a purple crayon in her glue gun and cried because all of her glue is now purple. There are times we are told by talk show hosts to make gratitude lists. Maybe we remind ourselves we are fed and clothed but don’t necessarily feel abundant though intellectually aware of the plenty.
Today is not one of those days. Today I am aware of my good fortune right through to my core. I am grateful for my cottage home and the smell of salt-water air. I notice my car has gas and is reliable. The phone rings. I have passions, dreams and endless beginnings. My daughter is healthy. We have community. Our pets are sweet. I am employed. I notice the cycles of the moon. I have insurance.
I dip into the feelings. One brush holds a little yellow where I carry tender memories. Another one is wet and orange and I notice it colors the shape of my clinging. There are red strokes where restlessness was stroked. The purple color is too wet and heavy. I wanted to spread a little bit of something sacred and made a mess. Now my canvas seems ruined and I have nothing to show for all of my effort. So what? So what? These are luxurious problems and indulgent dilemmas.
So what that my right hip sometime aches, that there’s a gap growing between my two front teeth and I have yet to get our kitten spayed. So what that I don’t have all the patience or time I want, that every thirst isn’t immediately quenched. So what that everything didn’t go according to my plan, that I am sometimes lonely and noticing new wrinkles. I am bathed in gifts.
I will eat Italian food with my daughter and our neighbors. I will tuck my daughter in. Her father and I though no longer a couple are a well-oiled co-parenting team. The cats will sleep on the foot of the bed. The house is warm. I have experienced unconditional love. We’ll sing Happy Birthday to friends and get birthday gifts wrapped for my aunt and mom. I know how to take care of myself. I have extra blankets.
There were times I didn’t believe days like this existed. There were seasons I would have given anything for this steady peace, like when my grandmother battled ovarian cancer, when my home flooded, when I put grocery bills on credit cards, when I was a child. There were times you would not have been able to convince me I would feel such grace and ease, would know the difference between pain and suffering, would even know what the word faith means.
Life has more than occurred to me. I have finally seated myself at the banquet. Who cares if I arrived a little late, lost the directions, was not as early as others and didn’t have a new outfit for the occasion? I am here. Here I am. I have no complaints.
I will get on my knees before bed, send love and prayers to a family I know in true crisis and count, really count, my blessings.