Thankful

There is so much to be thankful for this time of year; every moment of each year really.  As I sit and write this and reflect on the many joys I am thankful for I witness the natural world unfold before my very eyes.  I’m greeted by a warm and welcoming sun. A few robins pluck through the leaves looking for a meal while two squirrels run about playing as they begin their day.  Having watched these squirrels on many a morning I have to say that squirrels really know how to welcome a new day.  There is play time before work time and it seems a rather splendid way to begin one’s day; for squirrel or man.

To top it all off I’m visited by not one, but two red-headed woodpeckers who decide to join the group as we all begin our day.  Such beauty in my own front yard!  Such beauty that goes largely unnoticed by many.  Each one of these guest has played a special role in beckoning me to view myself as the “visitor” and they plead with me to visit more often.  It’s as if they are saying, “Don’t you get it?  You’re a part of this, you whose species seems to believe that they are somehow disconnected from the rest of nature.  This is where you belong.” I have thought for some time that there is a duality to mans existence.  There is the natural world from which he came and the world he created with his mind.  I believe that much of our search for meaning comes from the tension of these two worlds.  But, enough of that.  Today, I am merely thankful for, all the many things that make up my life.

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By the time the afternoon rolled around my stomach was growling from the aromas escaping from the crock pot.  A vegetable soup with a mixture of various seasonings and an assortment of vegetables recently purchased at a farmers market simmered for hours mingling the various flavors and emitting smells that my stomach obviously approved of as was noticeable from its constant growling.  Top this off with a hearty whole wheat beer bread fresh out of the oven and the combination is almost too much.  Such overwhelming joy from such simple pleasures.  I took my meal outdoors and enjoyed the late fall sun and the warmth it brought.   Thankful to be alive at this time and able to enjoy so much for so little.  Could life be any better?

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The days finishing act was spectacular.  The sky was on fire with brilliant reds and oranges, compliments of the sun, that were just as brilliant as its arrival earlier.  I’ve been the benefactor of many a beautiful sunset, and this one had to have been in the top ten.  It was as if the universe was putting an exclamation mark on the end of a day on this little planet that even it approved of.  So much beauty begging to be noticed…

As I watched in awe the beautiful horizon slowly turn to night, I prepared to continue this day by gathering some firewood to enjoy the warming comfort of an outdoor fire.  I trimmed a lot of dead limbs from the trees in my font yard this summer and cut the wood and stored it for this very reason.  I normally have a lawn chair I sit in while enjoying my backyard, but I pushed it a side, gathered a pile of leaves for a nice cozy bed and laid on my back gazing at the night sky with its moonlit decor.  The warmth of the fire, as well as the beer, put me in a relaxed state that could rival the best yogi in his deepest meditation.  I watched as the embers danced above the flames.  Some of the sparks would rush out of the flames and reach for the stars in this crazy, frenetic pattern of spirals, zig-zag and even the occasional straight shot, before they would burn out and be no more.  I thought to myself how similar this is to the lives many live on earth.  The construct of time our rational minds experience seems to go on forever, but really an individual life is no more than a period at the end of a sentence in the book of civilization that is no further along than the introduction.  I will that more of us, more of me, could enjoy the very act of living more than occasionally.  One of the hardest, tasks we’ll face during our time of existing is learning to merely “be” when all around is pushing us to “become.”

Happy Thanksgiving,

The Stoic

 

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4 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Well said. Makes you think about what is truly meaningful and important in life and what is not. It’s the intangible that is most valuable than the tangible. Thanks for sharing. Hope you had a great holiday weekend.

    • Thank you. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m getting older or the new direction of my thoughts (both?) but I find pleasure in the simplest of things these days. I’m still working on it, but I’m much better than I use to be.

      Hope your holiday weekend was filled with much joy!

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