Let Me Count the Ways: Five Moments of Thanks

It is easy to concentrate on our daily frustrations. Our dissatisfaction with a situation rises naturally to the surface. We are quick to show anger and to confront those who affront. But what about all the quiet moments of beauty and joy that dazzle us each day? How fantastic is it to watch our son first ride a bike? Or to laugh with friends and find that you are laughing and crying and uproariously happy. There is so much to be thankful for that it is a wonder we don't have more time to recount these joys.

Bathing Beauties

Fall is a wonderful time to be thankful. For many, this is a favorite season. I have always found fall to be bittersweet. Summer is my favorite season and fall is truly as far from summer as one can get, so as the cool air encroaches and the leaves begin to change I am anxious about the coming cold and anxious about the numerous holidays that will soon clamor for attention.

However, this fall is beautiful. The weather is yet warm and the children are still swimming in the lighted pool at night. A few trees have begun to change and the mix of dark green with vibrant red and sweet orange is still only a gentle hint of a new season. I have changed my wardrobe to autumn greens and browns and relish an evening with clear skies and few mosquitoes.

So, with a rush of warm wind and brief sunlight toasting our cool skin, we can begin to think of all the things for which we are thankful. I am so grateful to be able to teach our 5 children everyday. I am grateful to have the time to spend with them, to encourage their thinking, to help build the blocks of concrete knowledge that will forever serve as their foundation. I am grateful that I can encourage open-mindedness while still preserving our family values. We delight in examining every historical event from multiple perspectives, from the conquerors to the conquered. We examine the beliefs that consistently seem to drive humanity: religion, food, land, world domination. I am grateful that learning can take place in an arena of free discussion and free thought.

I am grateful for the beauty of artistic expression. We have had many opportunities to visit amazing museums. In Washington, D.C. we visited a National Geographic exhibition of 3-dimensional creations built from Leonardo's notebooks. We saw many of his ingenious inventions and could see that in fact these ideas really worked once constructed. In Barcelona we were fortunate to visit the Miro museum which had fantastical sculptures of odd bits of wire and pieces of chairs all built to replicate quirky humans.These satirical pieces were both amusing and strangely real. At the Metropolitan Museum in NYC we attended several lectures on Art History that really put into perspective the manner in which each culture and each generation influences one another. Art is not created in a vacuum, nor is it appreciated in a vacuum.

I am grateful for delicious, unpretentious, home cooked meals that are enjoyed in large friendly, chaotic, gatherings. I am grateful for reading A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, aloud by the fire in the dark winter evening, while sipping hot chocolate with marshmallows bobbing along the frothy top of Christmas mugs. I am grateful for the beauty of life.

And now it is your turn. What are five things for which you are thankful?

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