Because attention attracts gratitude and gratitude expands joy, it's time for Thankful Thursday.
On this Thankful Thursday, I am flush with abundance.
And neighbors. And fresh food. And kindness.
My neighbor, whom I don’t know well, brings me a bag of peaches.
And a bag of tomatoes the next week.
And another bag last week.
Before she shared her garden bounty, we would occasionally wave at each other from across the street. Now, I’m eager to see her cheery face, and we cross the road to chat. We might even be friends.
Another neighbor, whom I have shared only waves from the car, brings a bag of apples. The tree is really producing, he says, I can’t keep up.
I make an apple pie. A few days later, he calls to me. Want some more? Yes, I say, yes!
All week I feel neighborly and good-natured. I am full of fresh food, and filled with an abundance that swells from kindness. How simple this feeling, yet how very grand.
A Song for Merry Harvest
Bring forth the harp, and let us sweep its fullest, loudest string.
The bee below, the bird above, are teaching us to sing
A song for merry harvest; and the one who will not bear
His grateful part partakes a boon he ill deserves to share.
The grasshopper is pouring forth his quick and trembling notes;
The laughter of the gleaner’s child, the heart’s own music floats.
Up! up! I say, a roundelay from every voice that lives
Should welcome merry harvest, and bless the God that gives.
The buoyant soul that loves the bowl may see the dark grapes shine,
And gems of melting ruby deck the ringlets of the vine;
Who prizes more the foaming ale may gaze upon the plain,
And feast his eye with yellow hops and sheets of bearded grain;
The kindly one whose bosom aches to see a dog unfed
May bend the knee in thanks to see the ample promised bread.
Awake, then, all! ’tis Nature’s call, and every voice that lives
Shall welcome merry harvest, and bless the God that gives.
— Eliza Cook, 1818-1889
Known as a poet of the working class, Eliza Cook wrote poems that advocated for political freedom for women and addressed questions of class and social justice, according to the Academy of American Poets. Despite her popularity, she was criticized for the ways in which she bucked gender conventions in both her writing and her life; Cook wore male clothing and had a relationship with American actress Charlotte Cushman, to whom she addressed a number of her poems.
It's Thankful Thursday. Joy expands and contracts in direct relation to our sense of gratitude. What are you thankful for today? A person, a place, a possession? A story, a song, a poem? What makes your world expand?