Elsewhere I’ve written about gratitude journals. They help me see how many things happen every day to be grateful for. And also? Just how many tangible material pleasures I take for granted.
Today, for instance, I made fruit salad. Normally, I’m a big fan of farmer’s markets, and local food. Especially in the summer, when there are blackberries & peaches & melons & more. This weekend I bought enough fresh tomatoes (three kinds!) to stock a small roadside stand…
But today I was hungry, I guess, for childhood. So I made the kind of fruit salad only really possible in a country with great refrigeration, enough wealth to support imports, and a wide array of tastes. I made tropical fruit salad.
Mango, kiwi, pineapple, & bananas. None of which grow in Oklahoma. And peaches, strawberries, & basil. Each of which does. And apples, for good measure. It was what’s for dinner :). Hot summer, cool fruit salad.
Fruit salad isn’t earth-shaking. It certainly has no religious or spiritual significance. I’m not going to draw some artificial connection to anything else. But gratitude? Let’s just say that the evening’s entry in my journal includes a list of what cushions my life from want: refrigeration, enough national wealth to support imports, enough personal comfort to afford them, and a safe home in which to enjoy it all. And those are pretty small in Maslow’s hierarchy.
So here’s the point w/ the whole fruit salad thing: If we do like Thích Nhất Hạnh suggests, and live in each ordinary moment, the ordinary becomes luminous. Like the red glow of ripe strawberries, the vivid orange of mango, the sweet blue of berries. And I’m very grateful for that ~