I read today that when we are chronically dissatisfied and sink into a morass of misery, we become like a toxin, poisoning not only our own bodies and those around us, but the world itself.  By contrast, Gratitude is a blessing.  When you practice Gratitude, you are offering a great gift not only to yourself, but to those around you, and even to the world.

So I’m going to play the Gratitude Game again.  For ten minutes, I’m going to type all those things I am grateful for at this moment in time.  (And I know ten minutes will not be enough time.)  Ready, set, go!

I am grateful to have friends who feel like family.  And I’m grateful to have grown up in a functional and loving family.  I’m grateful for my parents and I’m grateful for my siblings.  I’m grateful for the staff at the nursing home who are taking good care of Dad.  I’m grateful for the caregivers who are assisting Mom.

I’m grateful for the meal I had tonight and my friends who cooked it.  I am grateful for this warm house, for a bed to sleep in, for a hot shower and an indoor toilet.  I am grateful for electricity and stoves and refrigerators and sinks.  I am grateful to have a car and I’m really grateful to the friends who have lent me theirs while I am visiting my parents for a while.

I am grateful to the dogs and cats who live with my friends.  I am grateful for the love these animals so readily show us flawed humans.  I am grateful for people who work hard to rescue animals.  I am grateful to animals in the wild – to wolves and whales and wombats; to bats, butterflies, and birds; to cats, coyotes, and coatimundis; to all animals.

I am grateful to trees and to flowers and to grasses and herbs and mosses.  I am grateful to pumpkins and pears, walnuts and pine nuts, apples and avocados, basil and tarragon and thyme.  I am grateful for real honest-to-goodness food.  I am grateful to the farmers who grow food.  I am grateful for farmers markets and food co-ops.

I am grateful for the beauty of the Earth – for oceans and rivers and seas, for forests and dessert and tundra, for grasslands and mountains and wetlands.  I am grateful for water.  For aquifers and springs and rain and snow.  I am grateful for the sun and moon and stars.  I am grateful for clouds and rainbows and thunderstorms.  I am grateful for seasons and I’m grateful for weather.  I’m grateful for fresh air and wind and gentle breezes.  I’m grateful for tides and waves and waterfalls.

I’m grateful for books and music, for language and touch.  I’m grateful for hugs and kisses, massages and tickles, smiles and lovemaking.  I’m grateful for dancing and walking and running.  I’m grateful for bending and stretching.  I’m grateful for this body.

And my time is up.

There is so much to be grateful for.  May I never forget.  May I never take anything in my life for granted.

Blessed be.

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