Friday, March 13, 2009

Gratitude

This morning I woke to the sound of birds singing in my backyard – literally that was the first sound I heard – even before my eyes opened. I stretched from head to toe, taking quick inventory – yes, everything was in working order – arms, legs, fingers, hearing. My eyes took in the brilliant cerulean sky framed by the bedroom window, blue sprinkled with the vibrant splash of fuchsia bougainvillea blossoms. A few last moments savoring the softness of the sheets beneath me, the cushiony warmth of the comforter over me, the quiet stillness of the dogs sleeping by the bed … and with a quiet “Thank You”, I swung my legs from the bed, planted my feet on the floor and stood to begin another day.

This is the tiny seed that begins each day – the joy that creates a party in my heart every single morning. Because, in this life of mine, each moment, each second is a gift.

You see, about six years ago, I found myself caught up in a whirlwind world of
terror – medical tests, theoretical diagnoses, physician’s voices … an unknown chasm where it appeared anything could happen. Ominous words were bandied about carelessly - life expectancy, paralysis, blindness, malignancy – words fueled by and filled with terror and uncertainty. The final diagnosis was multiple sclerosis … and the words filled my heart with absolute gratitude.

Yes, I have a chronic illness. But that’s like saying I have blue eyes or fair skin. It’s merely a physical descriptor, not who I am. It does not define me.


Who I am is a woman who today has a beautiful, sunshine filled day to inhabit. I have flowers to smell, a home to care for, children to laugh with, fresh fruit to eat, books to read, the feel of a pen in my hand moving across paper. I have every reason to believe that tomorrow will arrive right on schedule, that the sun will shine (after all, I live in Phoenix!) and that love will fill my heart and my hours. Abundance fills ever waking hour – not wealth or extravagance, at least not by American standards – but absolute overflowing abundance.

I nurture that seed of gratitude daily, tending it with loving care, cultivating and encouraging it – not dwelling on the “could have been’s” but looking ahead to embrace the “yet to be’s”. Every morning I list not only my blessings, but my hopes as well … for, you see, it is the hope that fuels the journey. Laura Ingalls Wilder said it so well: “It is the sweet, simple things of life that are the real ones after all.” Let them fill your heart with gratitude.




Originally published as a Guest Post at Creating A Good Life ... it's a great site with lots of seriously good content ... go look around :))

2 comments:

dieadjustormigrate said...

you are so right. i wrote in my post about my one true regret and, i know in my heart, that i need to think about the "yet to be's" and let go of the "could have beens". thank you for your words.

olwyn

Lissa said...

The sun comes up every day. It is up to us to decide if we want to feel it's warmth. it was wonderful to hear you words of gratitude and sunshine:)