Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Focus on Gratitude

I realized this morning that I have seven posts (with a Week in Review thrown in for good measure) until Thanksgiving. While I had to count the days twice to believe that Thanksgiving is barely a week away, this month has already been filled with gratitude and reminders of the small (and large) blessings that stand as pushpins in the map of my life. It seems natural to use these posts before Thanksgiving to share the small things that make me smile, brighten my days, and remind me that gratitude can be a daily practice: the blessing are just waiting to be recognized.

A Practice in Gratitude: Day 1

My faults are dependable running hamsters persistently moving their transparent wheels. They must be exhausted (not to mention exhausting), yet those boys have stamina (yes, I'm sure making my faults male hamsters is some form of projection). So it's nice to take a moment when one of those faults miraculously pays off, and give those typically harped-at hamsters a rare pat on the back.

I have been meaning to get the Halloween decorations picked up for weeks. Other than the homemade bats, which got moved to the front door to welcome trick-or-treaters and stowed away a week later when they kept hitting the adults trying to enter the house, the Halloween decorations have not moved. So last night, thanks to my procrastination or regular tardiness (pick a fault, any fault), the Halloween candles that line the kitchen windowsill and fireplace were still there, just waiting to be lit.

Even unexpectedly, possibly more so when unexpected, candlelit rooms cast a bit of magic to an ordinary evening. Last night we found ourselves greeted with a power outage and a little bit of magic as we finally lit the Halloween candles and huddled in the glow between two rooms, just being. Right as we were discussing whether to venture out in search for food or bring out the fondue pot and wing dinner our version of camp-fire style, the lights came back on. And dinner, and life, and my over-worked hamsters went on just as before but dusted with candlelight.

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