monarch butterfly in a Minnesota driveway
Photo by J. Harrington
Today I'm grateful for the announcement that the first wave?, flock? flight? of monarch butterflies are arriving in Mexico (scroll down on the linked page). That helped me shake off the mood I've picked up from our gloomy, overcast, unseasonably warm weather. I'm not wishing for cold, just sunshine.
goldfinch and nuthatch at feeder
Photo by J. Harrington
The birds, chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches and bluejays, have been piling in to the sunflower feeders as if they expected a major storm. The woodpeckers, red-bellied, downy and hairy, have discovered the suet I set out late last week. That seems to have gone onto whatever they have as a list of things for which they're grateful. Given their size overall, I suspect that birds have small hearts. I wonder if they manage to emulate Piglet.
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”I won't even try to speak for anyone but myself on this, but I spend too much time and effort focused on what I don't have and how to get it, rather than on what I do have and how to enjoy it. It's past time for me to follow the advice of a fellow New Englander:
– A.A. Milne in Winnie-the-Pooh
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”Ralph's phrasing isn't quite as memorable as Roger Miller's in the eponymous song
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Ya can't roller skate in a buffalo herdbut they both get at pretty much the same thing. I find it much easier to be happy if I've a mind to appreciate what (and who) I have in my life.
But you can be happy if you've a mind to"
There Is No Word
There isn’t a word for walking out of the grocery storewith a gallon jug of milk in a plastic sackthat should have been bagged in double layers
—so that before you are even out the dooryou feel the weight of the jug draggingthe bag down, stretching the thin
plastic handles longer and longerand you know it’s only a matter of time untilbottom suddenly splits.
There is no single, unimpeachable wordfor that vague sensation of somethingmoving away from you
as it exceeds its elastic capacity—which is too bad, because that is the wordI would like to use to describe standing on the street
chatting with an old friendas the awareness grows in me that he isno longer a friend, but only an acquaintance,
a person with whom I never made the effort—until this moment, when as we say goodbyeI think we share a feeling of relief,
a recognition that we have reachedthe end of a pretense,though to tell the truth
what I already am thinking aboutis my gratitude for language—how it will stretch just so much and no farther;
how there are some holes it will not cover up;how it will move, if not inside, thenaround the circumference of almost anything—
how, over the years, it has given meback all the hours and days, all theplodding love and faith, all the
misunderstandings and secretsI have willingly poured into it.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.