Thankful Thursday: Delayed

A funny thing happened on the way to gratitude this week.

As Thankful Thursday approached, I gathered many things to share (favorite bookstores, bodies of water, author quotes, words) and mentally distilled and arranged my appreciation in a hierarchy that would reveal gratitude, thoughtfulness and, if I was lucky (and honest about my desire to impress), a touch of creativity.

My enthusiasm, however, was doused when a taken-for-granted internet connection was cut. No email. No Facebook. No blogs. No interaction with anyone outside of talking distance.

I was bereft -- for about one minute. And then I was awash in gratitude. Really.

I shut the computer off, put my shoes on, and walked. And walked. And thought. And watched. Colors were vivid, sounds crystal. And the inner voice, the one that cajoles me to be more clever, more insightful, more productive, more of everything I am not, hushed.

If this sounds dramatic, it is. Sometimes the world is full of too many words. I need to pare down. Talk less. Go quiet. Even -- shudder -- stop writing.

Yes, three days later I turned the computer back on, and was again connected to the larger world. But I know now that I can turn away again at will. On this Thankful Thursday on Saturday, I am grateful for the contemplative silence that was always within my reach but that I forgot I had the ability to access, control, invite and enjoy.