Here and there today, I noticed wilting flowers, bird poop, and potholes in the road. That dismal little list hardly accounts for the things I am grateful for, which makes it odd I recall them at all. It makes me realize something, though, about what I am most grateful for.
In the long intervals of time briefly punctuated by those odd little details, I savored a mellow cup of coffee, meandered along a long line of vendors' tents and tables at the farmers' market, took a leisurely nap, and saw George Clooney in The American at our movie theater here in Pacific Grove. To top all that off, I had dinner out at a local cafe and a stroll home on this soft late-summer night. It was a very relaxed and enjoyable day, beginning to end. That's a fine list of delights to be grateful for, indeed.
I could leave it at that and say good-night, but I keep feeling a sense of gratitude and appreciation for...my existence, I guess. Just that simple? I think it goes deeper.
I appreciate the fact that bird poop and potholes do not rivet my attention, that the world I am privileged to enjoy is beautiful, bountiful and peaceful. I am not obsessed; I can discern between reality and delusion. I cannot begin to tell you how immensely grateful I am to be able to think clearly about that, to say that coherently, to understand that it is profound.
I work with people who are mentally ill, some of whom are completely undone by a speck of red, believing it is blood and that they will be contaminated. I work with those who are continuously and forever engulfed in the sound of fierce condemning voices interrupting their every thought, day and night. I work with people enslaved by drugs and alcohol and those preyed upon by abusers. They teach me to keep things simple, to appreciate what I have and to enjoy a laugh at any opportunity.
I am healthy, can solve my simple problems, have no complaints to speak of. Chalk it up to the luck of birth. By whatever force, I am free to live peacefully. I am not perfect, and I am very deeply grateful -- almost to an extent that cannot be expressed -- for the ability to notice little things and keep them in perspective. Surrounding my gratitude is relief that I am fine. All I need I have, and that's the simple truth.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way