I’m grateful that the two old men dogs were both eager and able to walk to the canyon this morning. It was a beautiful cool time, with sun beaming below encroaching rainclouds. And then eventually it rained off and on for a few hours. I am grateful for ongoing hand therapy, and grocery shopping, and new glasses lenses even if they’re not perfect. I made someone feel bad this afternoon, and I feel bad about that, and I’m grateful that the recognition arose in me once again that it feels even better sometimes to be kind than to be right. Now I can work on that tendency.
I’m grateful for the baking accoutrements I’ve acquired over the years, and also for the skills I’ve acquired through learning and practice. Both in baking, and in how I treat myself and other people. But it does take practice. It might only take two or three crusts to master this lattice roller, but it seems to take lesson after lesson, year after year, to learn to bite my tongue and be kind when I feel annoyed or put upon.
I’m grateful for apples in the freezer from last year’s harvest, pre-mixed with sugar and cinnamon, ready to go in the crust; and grateful that I’ve learned to mix pastry in the cuisinart instead of with the old-fangled pastry cutter or my hands. Pie is so much easier!
I’m really grateful that animals are so easy to love and experience compassion for, no cultivation needed; it just comes naturally to me. Grateful for all the time in my life that I’ve been able to spend with animals, wild and tame; grateful for how whole and open my heart feels with them. I’m grateful for the insight that softens my heart daily: We’re all gonna die. I’m grateful for old dogs.
Grateful for another sunset, another fulfilling, exhausting day in fellowship with the kindest, most mindful people I know. Two-thirds through our graduation retreat, twelve hours each day together virtually yet meaningfully, sharing lessons, learnings, creativity, and cultivating heartfelt connection with people across the country and a world away. Grateful for one of the most transformative experiences of my short life, this past Mindful Learning Year. Grateful for another day with dear Stellar still moving pretty well, and another precious day of relative safety here, while fires ravage the land elsewhere and paint the sun orange again.
Today, among the many things I’m grateful for including Stellar and me both waking up alive, is all the learning I’ve done in this lifetime and the lessons I’ve been able to share with others; I’m grateful for teachers and students. One of my greatest teachers has been gardening: it has taught me so much about impermanence, about unintended consequences, and about unexpected benefits. Gardening has taught me to let go of attachment to outcomes, to accept constant change, and to rejoice in the simplest successes. Today, I’m grateful that the raised beds are finally filling up with the starts I’ve been nurturing for a couple of months. I’m grateful that the last unexpected freeze is behind us and that I didn’t put all these starts out just a couple of weeks ago, because I would have lost most of them to a late freeze. I’m grateful to accept myself as a learner, still learning life’s lessons, and I’m grateful for teachers of all species.