Awakening Gratitude

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments
when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder

On the cusp of winter and spring, gratitude shares its voice. With a palpable presence, it is easy to confuse gratitude with thanks and its simple way. Thanks sits on the ledge of our throat, too ready to hurl itself into sound without much care as to where it will land. Gratitude lives in the deeper regions of our bodies, asking us to find it and hold it like a new born infant. Speaking the word and tasting each of its syllables on our lips resonates with a conscious intention to offer it with as much care as the breath that brought it into being.

The voice of gratitude is often hard to hear in winter with its vibrato storms and keening wails of cold that drown out even silence. If winter has a mate her name is Resilience. As her partner flings clouds about like galleons of grey angry ships scathing the heavens she reminds us mortals to hold on. Months of icy, vapid rain soak the marrow of earth and bone and she tucks us into warm homes at night, tethering fortitude to our front doors. She laughs with us as we birth yet another recipe for kale and embraces our bodies bent over by the weight of bitter longing pressed into the cavities of our souls.

Unlike winter’s big persona, spring steps into the landscape with some hesitation. Her entrance trips and wobbles like a first time actress on Broadway, allowing winter to complete his lines before the new diva steps onto the stage. Winter’s tired refrains of hushed hues finally succumb like Dorothy’s black-and-white house crashing into Technicolor Oz. Spring’s debut is a soft breeze of standing ovations that topples winter in its final bow.

Gratitude is an easy visitor this time of year. It knocks on our door just as the sun returns from its snowbird holiday. It tucks itself into lipstick red tulips and the soft rain of cherry blossom petals. It rides the backs of powder puff clouds like herds of white buffalo grazing across the continent of azure blue sky. It rises up inside of us like the unfurling emerald spine of a fiddlehead fern.

Gratitude finds a home in so many forms. Louie Schwartzberg’s breath-smacking films exude awe and wonder in each frame. Check out his TED Talk and a taste of his short film called, yep, Gratitude.

TED Talk – Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude

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Photo Credit

Spring Stones by Vvillamon – Flickr Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.


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