I love the idea of Thanksgiving. For me, it’s a day of gratitude . . . even without the grand meal we traditionally serve. I googled if (and what other) countries celebrate gratitude, and (who knew?) there are 22 countries that celebrate some sort of thankfulness in different ways. In most countries, it is about gratitude for a bountiful harvest, in others, gratitude for workers. It feels so good knowing how many other countries set aside a day for gratitude.
But, what if we took gratitude to a whole new level? Imagine, if you will, allowing yourself to be grateful for the (some might say) silliest of things.
Let’s be grateful for the dirty dishes after the great big dinner. What? Well, you could only have dirty dishes if you had food to eat off them, right? And while we’re at it, let us be thankful for the water pouring out of a very handy faucet. Thankful for the clean water. Thankful for the clean hot water. And thankful for those lovely towels, so plentiful, and soft. For the dishes themselves, some of them maybe that we use just for this holiday.
We all take for granted these everyday things. The soap, especially made for the dishes. The camaraderie that goes along with washing up after the meal. The opportunity to involve the children in this most important part of the celebration.
This is getting really exciting! I love that there can be all these countless, tiny gratefuls that can fill our hearts in any one situation. Even if it sounds silly at the moment, imagine being without any one of the above mentioned gratitudes: No water? No towels? No dishes? What would we do? All these things we don’t even think twice about . . . until they’re not there.
If Zentangle has taught me anything, it’s the gratitude and appreciation of the little things: the paper, the pencil, the pen . . . and the Zen. And, then, how the gratitudes somehow sneak their way into our everyday lives, making us feel so lucky to be who we are and to have what we have.
What tiny little thing are you thankful for?
I’d love to hear what you discover.
Illustration from "The Book of Zentangle." Gouache on Arches watercolor paper.