Gratitude?

Sad hearts.  Our gathering on Saturday in the aftermath of the Lebanon and Paris attacks was filled with grief.  A quiet, deep sense of helplessness, hopelessness, and frustration was shared by all.  Here we were at a class on the benefits of practicing gratitude.  Why bother?

 

In that shared experience, we were able to see that while it is important to be grateful for what we have, it is essential that we appreciate the gift of our own being. This is the one thing that all of creation shares, human and otherwise, and it allows us to stand with those who have lost so much, not against those who have committed injustice, but rather as fellow human beings.

 

This morning when I went out to the car, I saw a large white bird pecking for bugs across the street.  At first it appeared to be a small gull, but soon it became clear that it was a very large white dove.  She seemed determined to put on a show as she calmly staked out her space and continued to eat.  As a car came down the street, she took off, deftly circling and weaving through the oaks, then alighting to finish her meal.  Soon thereafter, the sky continued to darken and a light rain ensued.

 

By coming together last night, we ritualized what our ancestors have done since before memory; we gathered to comfort each other in our time of need and to extend our compassion and caring to those who now need it most.  For this I am grateful.