Gratitude unlocks the fulness 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. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~Melody Beattle

I’ve read this poem before, and I like it.  I’ve also written about gratitude before, and I like to remind myself of it.

Especially with the end of the year coming, the holidays and a new year approaching.  An anniversary of our adventure in India coming to an end, as well.  Though seeming it has been a lifetime since we were in that part of the world, but at the same time seeming like it just happened, our days bringing back moments of our days in India, for one reason or another, it always comes up.  Something I treasure enormously.

After reading Lisa’s post last week, it made me think.  It reminded me that I also want to remind myself of how grateful I am.

I need sometimes to pause and remind myself to actually stop.  Look around and see where I am.  There is so much going on every day.  We are not a busy family by any means.  We are not taking lots of classes this term, but our days seem to be full.  They fill up with stories, with learning, drawings, walks, with playing, crafting, cleaning, washing, and some days with swimming and piano lessons.

And I try not to go by my days without paying attention.  Siena and Lucas are growing up.  And I don’t want to miss any of it.  Lucas is almost seven and Siena almost half way her tenth.

The garden needs to be cleaned, and put to rest for the winter.  The shovels, rakes and other tools need to be cleaned and put away.  The shed needs a little re-arranging.  The art studio needs a lot of attention too.  We need to clean the basement again.  There’s clothes to be washed and lots more to be folded and put away.  The coat hanging in the stairs need to be cleaned.  The boots and the porch needs sweeping and cleaning. I could go on.  The list grows and stays long, even after we finish something.  You probably know how it goes.

But I want to take the time to be here right now.  To be present, and be aware.  I am so grateful for so many things, and I don’t want to pass these up without paying attention.

I am grateful for…

:: friends who celebrate.

:: the colors we see right outside, still there.

:: delicious food.

:: special friends who like to play any time.

:: time, and being able to spend it together.

:: our home, and being indoors, cozy, warm and dry.

:: celebrations.

:: learning at home.  And being able to have that decision be ours, decided by my family and no one else.

:: apples.

:: cold days, so we can use our warm sweaters and quilts they’ve been put away for the summer months.

:: for nature and being able to get out any time we want to.

:: for my kids.  They helped me stay in the moment.

:: for my best friend of 27 years.  He, who lives with me and I can spend every single day together.  And someone who also helps me stay in the moment.  Oh, how I love him.

:: heated home.

:: tea and hot chocolate and cider, whichever might come up that day.

:: life itself.

From Shrimp Salad Circus:

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