It's not even Thursday but this week has been so ugly I'm countering with a gratitude surge. If every day offers an opportunity for thankfulness, let's make it happen now.
Please join me for Thankful Thursday on Tuesday, a weekly pause to express appreciation for people, places, things and more.
As the first chords play, before the singer offers a single word, my face is wet. I'm in an audience of 25 elderly people, and I'm the one crying.
Not Jane who can't hear. Not Shirley who can't talk, not even Martin who is tenderhearted. They are dry-eyed. But me, the happy event organizer, is sitting among wheelchairs, dementia, and diapers, biting back tears.
I turn to Dorothy, who looks at me with fright and confusion. Her eyes are wide and searching so I tuck a blanket around her and gently rub her arm. We hold hands. She loosens and breathes and in a tone that suggests this is a party and she is the host, says "I'm so glad you came."
The next day, I take a long drive — to lose (and find) myself in an abandoned school, a broken down store, an endless road. I'm driving not to find what I lack but to remember what I have: wide spaces, big sky, long lonely stretches. I travel a bumpy gravel road that does, finally, meet solid ground. In everything, metaphor and message.
Today, because I'm waiting for the dentist, I count the minutes with agitation. The drill is not on, the dentist has not even appeared, and still I'm near tears because in my fatigue with the world this tooth feels like our collective rot. I'm wearing all the aches, and just want it to stop.
First, the heat of an unusual summer. Then the smoke and haze of unusual fires. Nothing is usual. The weather is erratic, the sun and moon are in a dance toward darkness, and something or other is in retrograde. It seems we're all spinning, spitting, hurting.
And in this mess, the dentist brings me toothpaste instead of a drill. I find my way home to a soft bed and a good nap. And Dorothy and I sing quietly together.
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
- from Landslide, by Stevie Nicks / Fleetwood Mac
And you, dear one, what are you thankful for today?