Ten things I am thankful for this Thursday.
1. Birdsong. Chirping and hooting. Twittering and calling. The sound of early morning chatter outside my window.
2. Squirrels. How they run and dance. Carrying things. Eating things. Seemingly fearless as they flit across the street and run across power lines, chasing each other. Are they playing or fighting? I can never tell, but their frenzy always makes me smile.
3. Real mail. Letters. Postcards. Envelopes with stickers inside the envelope and rubber stamped flowers outside the envelope.
4. Yesterday's delicious lavender latte with oat milk. Served up by a kind Argentine barista who indulged my voracious appetite for speaking in Spanish. Gracias, Enzo.
5. Combining gift cards and the 10% "member" discount to get three of my favorite journals for 26 cents at Barnes and Noble. Twenty six cents for three journals! I cannot wait to fill those pages with my rambles.
6. Giving a glowing recommendation for a friend who is applying to be the senior pastor at a new church. I will miss her terribly if they offer her the job, but it was a joy to talk about how amazing she is and what a gift she will be to their congregation if they are wise enough to welcome her in.
7. The opportunity to feed an owl at a friend's house recently. I apologized to the live mouse that was sacrificed, but the wonder of having an owl swoop down from a distant tree and sweep it out of my outstretched, gloved hand - that blew my mind.
8. The ceasefire between Palestinians and Israelis. What is needed is more than merely a "ceasefire." There must be peace, justice, restoration of land rights, safety for the oppressed, an end to imperialism and occupation, domination and extreme violence. There is enough land, but is there enough will to do what is right and just and fair for all the people, especially those who have been displaced, dispossessed, dismissed, and disregarded - repeatedly?
9. The decline in Covid rates in many places. The increase in vaccination rates. May we deepen our willingness to do what is right for all people who are threatened by this devastating illness - and every medical challenge. May we do what is necessary to provide healthcare for all people everywhere.
10. Joy. Wonder. Hope. In the present. For the future. In spite of the violence, the fear-mongering, the hatred, and the despair, I refuse to give up hope in us. I am determined to spread smiles, to deliver delight, to wander around in wonder. There is always cause for awe.
I am still here. You are still here. It is simple and profound. It is fantastic and outrageous.
In her poem entitled, "Celebrate With Me," Lucille Clifton wrote:
and has failed.
For this I am thankful on this Thursday night. And everyday.