I continue on my journey to Gratitude, a path to One Thousand Gifts, little and life-changing, from the Father of Lights....
51. ... the sweet miniature red dachshund who curls up with me each evening on the sofa, who sleeps with my daughter each night, who amuses the boys who play with him each day, and who takes the greatest delight in wrestling with my husband. Dashwood (Dash for short) is truly family.
52. ... the gift of wordsmithing that brings such frustration, such joy, such responsibility, such a depth of emotion and being.
53. ... the global outpouring of aid, prayer, and funds to Haiti in the wake of last week's horrible earthquake. The love for the people of Haiti and compassion on their behalf, from people of all faiths.
54. ... the roaring fire in our wood-burning stove that warms our house and home, built each evening by my 14-year-old son from wood piled and hauled by all three boys. Their work warms my toes and my heart.
55. ... this little mountain community, nestled 4000 feet above the sea--1200 souls who weather storms, both of weather and of life, together.
56. ... the antique Seth Thomas clock that graces the center of our wooden mantel, its chimes summoning childhood memories of my grandparents' dark, quiet home where it lived before coming to roost in our home.
57. ... Tuesday afternoons, my "free" afternoons in which I hope to write--to play with words, pushing them outward from hidden inward spaces where they hide, resisting the drawing forth that writing is, the revelation of the unknown in me.
58. ... the ancient prayers, supplications of pilgrims traveling the Christian pathway over the centuries, the lifting hands of praise a millenia ago, hearts spilling words of worship that we still speak in this postmodern age.
59. ... the warm waters, spun by air to jet against sore, tired muscles, the spa that relaxes muscles, relieves pain, allows me to fall into a mostly-untroubled sleep each night.
60. ... even this pain, chronic now for eight years, that twists muscles, swells joints--that slays me, disables me, yet frees me from the bane of selfishness, lack of compassion, over-serving, over-mothering. It's not an easy thing to be thankful for, yet, in a strange only-God-could-do-it-this-way way, my illness has indeed been a gift. A difficult gift, one I sometimes wish I could return-to-sender, but a gift nevertheless. A gift of which I am still plumbing the depths....