A DEEPER LOOK at GRATITUDE

Those who know me, know that I often refer to Gratitude.

You may ask How did you know or get introduced to GRATITUDE? While listening to Krista Tippett’s podcast On Being, early one Sunday morning, she was interviewing Brother David Steindl-Rast, Founder of Gratefulness.org . This podcast was such a pivotal moment in my life as he described so many things, people, experiences, sounds, sights, smells, he was grateful for. I am a contributor to Gratefulness.org through monetary donations and my Photography. The practice of Gratitude I continue today. When I feel stuck in a ‘funk’, and I can’t think of anything to be grateful for, I begin with the letter ‘A’ and list whatever I am grateful for that begins with that letter and proceed through the alphabet. It’s amazing what comes out. Here’s a list of late:

A = Alicia (my daughter), Art, Air, AFG, Apple Trees

B = Brothers, color Blue, Blue Berries, Books, Birds

C = Chocolate (Dark Chocolate), Church, Couch, Catholicism, Creating Collages, Crows, Camera

D = Dawn, Doves, Daffodils, Drawing

E = Elephants, Ears that hear, Eyes that See, Europe

F = Faith, Father, Friends, Family

G = God, color Green, Grayson, Greeting one another

H = Home, Hot water, Hiking, Hawks

I = Imagination, Irises

J = Jesus, Juicy Pears and Apples, Job, Joy

K = Katharina (a faithful friend), Kites, Kibbeh, Kayaaks, Kayak, Kelly

L = Love, the sound Laughter, Lincoln

M = Mom, Memory, Mountains

N = Nandina, Notecards

O = Ocean waves and sound, Oxygen, Oranges, Orchids

P = Patience, Prayer, Pink Tulips, Peruvian Lilies, Photography, Pencils, Pens, Paper, Pope Francis

Q = Quiet moments, Quilts

R = Rest, Richard (son), Red Poppies, Robins

S = Steve (husband and friend), Sailing, Swimming, Seeing Smiles again

T = Trees (all kinds- Oaks, Redbuds, Weeping Willows, Dogwoods, Beech Trees), Today, Travels

U= Umbrellas (bright red, poke-a-dotted)

V = Sound of Violins, African Violets, Vacation

W = Water, Willow Trees, Writing

X = eXtraordinary moments

Y = Yellow Sunflowers and Finches

Z = Zealous moments

What does your list look like?

~ Anita Adams 3/2022

S = Sunflower

A shared Poem by Naomi Shihab Nye

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. 
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.