Thursday, June 04, 2009

Thanks again...

Since last I posted, I went on a journey to Connecticut and New Jersey. (I apologize to all I didn't get to see; it was an absolute whirlwind. I spent less than 24 hours in each place - or so it seemed.) My amazing niece, Liz, graduated from high school. She and her sister, Clare, take my breath away every time I see them or listen to them speak or spend any time whatsoever in their company.

In the light of all that has happened in the world since then, with the crash of that flight from Rio to Paris, with countless unreported deaths and illnesses, job losses and company closures, I find myself once again giving thanks.

Life is fragile and beautiful and wonder-filled and frightening
and so outrageously marvelous. Every single day.

I am thankful for safe travel, not only by airplane, but also by car, by foot,
by scooter, by bicycle, by minivan, and by bus. Every safe journey is a gift
that is far too often taken for granted.

I'm thankful for art, the kind that we create and the kind that God creates.

I'm thankful for cousins who dazzle and friends who open their homes to us and neighbors who dog sit and children that hug, kiss, smile, and tell jokes freely.

I'm thankful for food and drinks and flowers and tablecloths.

I'm thankful for this computer and the electricity that flows through it. I'm grateful for paper and pens and the simple wonder of handwritten letters. I am grateful for the buzzes of text messages and the anticipation that surges before answering the phone.

I'm thankful for my husband's miscalculations on how much salmon and fruit to purchase at the market - and the bounty we have enjoyed over the past three days. I'm thankful that my children love salad and fruit and skim milk and 15 grain bread and ice water as much as they do. I'm glad they like ice cream and chocolate and smoothies too; who else would I indulge my sweet tooth with???

I'm thankful for a healthy body: my senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing,
and most of all, touch. I am grateful that I am immune to Hepatitis A and B. (How I came to know that fact is a long story that isn't worth telling here. But I'm grateful nonetheless.) I am thankful that I can go on walks with my children in the morning, do push-ups (which is my latest passion), eat fresh spring/summer fruit, wash dishes, play with my children's hair, and enjoy the new oils I recently purchased from Itiel.*

I'm grateful to be alive.

Robert Benson's* small breviary has quickly become
one of my favorite books of all time.
I will end this post with a quote from its Evening Prayer:

"We Your servants give You humble thanks, Almighty God,
for all Your gifts and graces to us this day:
For the splendor of the whole creation and the beauty of this world;
for the wonder of life and the mystery of love;
for the blessings of family and friends,
and the loving care that surrounds us on every side.
And for this day's work, for the things that demanded our best,
for the things that delighted us; and for the disappointments and failures
that lead us to depend on You truly.
We thank You, O Lord.

Stay with us, we pray,
for evening is at hand and the day is done.
Be our light in the darkness, and in your great mercy,
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night.
Hear us, O Lord."


* Please click on their links and check them out.
Good stuff. Great people.
See sidebar.


jena strong said...

I'm thankful you take the time to express such humility and love and gratitude. You are exquisite.

Karen Maezen Miller said...

Evening is at hand and the day is done. Such an ordinary benediction.

robert benson and ben stroup said...

One good collect deserves another — "You have made us one with Your saints in heaven and in earth: Grant that we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy . . . especially we offer up our prayers of thanksgiving for your servant Gail, whose witness so eloquently reminds us to be grateful for all the blessings of this life. Amen, and amen."

Namaste —

R. Benson

GailNHB said...

Thanks, Jena and Karen, for your encouragement and words of simple praise. Sometimes the most ordinary benedictions stick most closely to the soul. That is one of my favorite parts of all the prayers.

Robert, thanks for stopping by, for reading, for commenting. I am looking forward to meeting you in October. In the meantime, your name is often on my list of "those with who we share the journey."

Peace to all who pass through this sacred place on this sacred day.