Today I’m in a reflective mood and thinking about life and gratitude.
Life is about the journey. We never get “there.” We may feel completely satisfied at some points in our lives: when we graduate from school, land a coveted job, meet a special someone, buy a new car, remodel a house. Those are big moments – and they feel fulfilling but nothing lasts forever and we are back being dissatisfied. We may ask – what is the next goal I have to reach that will make my life absolutely complete forever?
What is the next goal I have to reach that will make my life absolutely complete forever?
We will never reach that goal. It will never be perfect. That’s not sad. It’s just realizing what life is about and not getting angry when things don’t happen exactly as we hoped they would.
Every day when I get up, I light an incense stick and take a stroll around the garden. So much to see in this tiny bit of the world that belongs to Max and me:
Several years ago a mother cat brought her kittens into my bodega. I hoped they would leave but of course, after the first meal, they didn’t. The cats are a big part of my day now. I worry when they don’t show up for food. How wonderful to have such life in my garden!
Our Chihuahua, Salsa, who we found as a stray in the park now sleeps on the best silk pillows in the living room. Life without Salsa?
I see the gifts of hummingbirds, orioles, iguanas, geckos, butterflies, cactuses, limon trees, palms.
The rosemary plant that smells like pine will improve my memory (so they say!) and it tastes divine on roasted garlic potatoes.
I hear the fountain trickle into the pool and the small green parrots squawk – with dissatisfaction?
So many gratitudes for me, all in the space of one tiny garden!
I’m also grateful for friends and family. It’s always a good idea to tell them you love them, even if it’s not a special holiday. So sad to think we have only Valentine’s Day reserved for saying “I love you!” Why not say it as often as possible? Or blow a kiss? Or touch your hand to your heart? Or say to them, “Thank you!” One time will be the last time you will ever see someone.
Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote that the last time she said good-bye to Franklin before he took a long trip, was, “Bye, bye!” No more. He died days after. That haunted her for the rest of her life.
I don’t think there’s room enough in this lifetime for carrying a grudge or being angry with people. Sometimes, sadly, the wise thing to do is to let someone go. I want my memories to be kind – to remember just the good things and be grateful.
A quote about gratitude that touches me:
“Happiness is to appreciate what you have. Unhappiness is to dwell on what you don’t have.” – Rabbi Shimon Ben Zoma
It’s nice to know miracles happen every day, like a glass of good white wine!