Welcome to November–the moody and melancholy month of the year. I happen to love November and its gray and stormy skies but for many it can be depressing–depending upon where you live. Some begin to dread the appearance of snow. Others detest the lack of sunlight as the daylight hours wan. The blustery weather means more indoor time which some resent. While I can sympathize with the lack of control we have over the seasons, I think November gives us an obvious remedy.
Here in America we celebrate a holiday this month called Thanksgiving. It is a reminder of our earliest beginnings as a country in which pilgrims seeking freedom of worship came bravely across the sea to an unknown land at the worst time of year. They endured illness, starvation, freezing weather, numerous variables and much death. Unlike the romanticized Thanksgivings, the first was beautiful and bountiful in its friendships and gratitude, not so much on the turkey and stuffing. And herein lies the key to dark days of little sunlight and stormy skies–gratitude.
In our journey towards a more hope-full life we need to remember to feed the hope we have. Like plants, pets, cars, dreams and humans, hope must be fed.
Gratitude is the food of hope.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie
Gratitude gives hope the energy to sustain life and grow. Hope needs to be fed or it dies. Thanksgiving and gratitude is food for hope..for the soul. It often forces us to dig deep and to be willing to see the world around us in a different way. It requires us to be detectives in our own lives in order to unearth clues to the treasures that are often in plain sight. These treasures are the ingredients to our own personal “Thanksgiving” celebration.
I know that sometimes it can seem hard to find things to be thankful for but that’s where the treasure hunting and detective work comes in to play. Being thankful is like a muscle or an art form. It must be practised in order to be improved.
So let’s start small:
something to eat,
a place to sleep,
something to wear,
someone who cares,
ability to look for a job,
All of these may seem rather obvious but can be stepping stones on which to build.
I have been without running water when we used spring water and the pump died. We had to use a bucket and go get it from the spring house outside. This meant for cooking, flushing, drinking, and bathing. Being able to turn on the faucet and have water is a treasure I savor. We have also had muddy water to to contend with so clean water is a plus.
I have been apart of the death and dying of loved ones as they take their last breath here on earth. And while it was not an awful thing to me, I am grateful that I still have breath even on those days of grief and pain. As long as there is life, there is hope.
There have been times when eating simply was not a healthy lifestyle choice or spiritual fast but a necessity of life. I have learned to be grateful for something to put in my stomach to sustain me.
Learning to be grateful is life-changing experience and the more we do it the fuller our lives become.
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. William Arthur Ward
Attitude is everything.