Monday, October 27, 2008

On birthdays and gratitude

Today is my birthday. I love birthdays, I think it's a fine and important thing to have one day in the year when you unabashedly crow out your joy at being alive.

I am glad to be alive. I am grateful for my presence here on this Earth.

To mark my birthday I offer this up to the universe, a list of things I am grateful for, one for each year I have been on the planet. This is a bit of navel gazing, I know, but I think it is important to sometimes sing a praise song. Or, in this case, write a praise list..
  1. I am grateful for my family, who, in spite of all the difficulties we have put each other through, love me and support me as best they can, and accept me in spite of knowing my flaws since birth. That's all anyone can ask for.
  2. I am equally grateful for my chosen family, those friends who have stuck with me through thick and thin, whom I know will both be honest with me and will protect me. I would not make it through the tough times (let alone the good times) without them.
  3. I am grateful for those who have loved me, regardless of the outcome of those relationships. Thank you for teaching me so much about love and redemption.
  4. I am grateful for the love in my life today. My heart swells with emotion.
  5. I am grateful for strength of my body, for my growing understanding of my own abilities and possibilities.
  6. I am grateful for the sensual pleasures of living in my skin.
  7. I am grateful for the way autumn air smells, crisp and bright with the knowledge of winter and hope of spring.
  8. I am grateful for the gift of language, for writing, for the words that dance in my mind and on the page.
  9. I am grateful for the stories I tell, how they fill my throat and sometimes I am surprised by what I hear myself saying.
  10. I am grateful for every single listener.
  11. I am grateful for books.
  12. I am grateful for bicycles.
  13. I am grateful for good food, for dumplings and crisp apples and nectarines and roasted chickens.
  14. I am grateful for the smell of baking bread,
  15. I am grateful for music, for the way it evokes so many different feelings.
  16. I am grateful for sleep and the comfort of my bed.
  17. I am grateful for dreams, even nightmares.
  18. I am grateful for trees. I love trees.
  19. I am grateful for the swell and crash of the ocean.
  20. I am grateful for sunset and the knowledge that the sun will rise again.
  21. I am grateful for the passage of time, for the hope that implies even if it means I may not be here to see the world continue.
  22. I am grateful for my physical comforts. Let's not kid ourselves, if you are reading this, then you probably have the same comforts. We are lucky.
  23. I am grateful for my ability to effect change in the world.
  24. I am grateful for all the people who tell me their stories, whether in performance or in passing.
  25. I am grateful for those moments that help me remember who I am.
  26. I am grateful for medical care and insurance. Again, I am lucky.
  27. I am grateful for baths.
  28. I am grateful for black tea with milk and sugar.
  29. I am grateful for bees.
  30. I am grateful for the living things of this earth, even the ones that bite snd itch. Usually. And especially for dogs, dragonflies, otters and the like.
  31. I am grateful for a sense of humor.
  32. I am grateful for the good teachers I've been blessed with. Thank you.
  33. I am grateful for you, for reading this whole list, for reading my blog, for being a silent presence I can write to.
  34. I am grateful for the night sky, for thunderstorms, for breezes for patches of sunlight to doze in.
  35. I am grateful for my ongoing curiosity about the world.
  36. I am grateful for compassion, both shown to me and that which I exhibit. And especially those acts of compassion that taught me to be a compassionate person.
  37. I am grateful for rocks.
  38. I am grateful for the potential of this world, of this species.
  39. I am grateful for the double edged sword of hope.
  40. I am grateful for the freedom to chose my own path.
  41. I am grateful for the world.
Thanks for reading; this was quick to write and I could have kept going, but this was enough. Happy birthday, whenever that may be. May the world smile upon you.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer
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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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