Fri, Nov 20 Gratitude Reflection

Give thanks for what falls. We crush underfoot the acorns that land in our paths, or kick them aside as fodder for wild creatures. We press bruised apples, shaken from their limbs, into cider. We pause in wonder at the rushing torrents that cascade as waterfalls, dropping dramatically, tumultuously, to the river below. Our own bodies sometimes tumble.

            Yes, some things that fall are discarded, no longer useful, damaged by the impact upon landing. Some are hurt and broken in the descent, in need of healing and repair. Other things are made glorious by the journey that begins at the top and plummets downward.

            Our eyes fall as we grow weary. Night falls as the day ends. Sometimes, falling simply signifies release and reprieve.

Let us give thanks for what falls. — Rev Gail

It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. — Romans 14:4b

My vows to you I must perform, O God;
    I will render thank offerings to you. For you have delivered my soul from death,
    and my feet from falling,
so that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.
— Psalm 56: 12-13

And falling’s just another way to fly. ― Emilie Autumn

It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb, you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall? ― Neil Gaiman

Stumbling is not falling. – Malcolm X 

Fri, Nov 13 Gratitude Reflection

Pay attention to the sky today. Be grateful for what it offers. Be aware of its constancy, yet how it changes every moment.

Is the vaulted sky clear or cloudy? Are storms rolling over the highest mountain peaks? How does the precipitation from overhead touch the earth, if there’s weather to report: as fog, or rain, or snow? How does the light touch your face today? Do you cast a shadow? What color are the heavens: blue or grey or something else? Is sound connected to the sky today, as rumbling thunder, lightning claps, pelting rain or shushing snow?

Do birds wing through the sky? Migrating? Going about their business? Do planes or helicopters make a trail of sound across the valley? Do leaves still cling to branches, and spiral down beneath the wind?

Give thanks for the sky. — Rev Gail

Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens;
    your faithfulness extends to the clouds.
Psalm 56

When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking God for being so generous to you. If you drink wine (or coffee), be mindful of God who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank God for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who ordered things this way. When the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator. – Basil the Great

Thursday, November 5: Gratitude Reflection

Let us give thanks for windows and doors. For physical thresholds that mark our arrivals and departures, our comings and goings. Sometimes they’re more than a knob and a hinge: they’re portals of transition. They demarcate the places we begin or end, they designate both routine movements and life-altering journeys.

At such portals, we leave something behind. Imagine something new. Say farewell. Anticipate hello. 

Doorways and windows are gateways and portals. They launch us. Send us off. And welcome us.

They transport us from one environment to another, one state of being to another: inside to outside, human-made to natural, domestic to foreign, private to public, personal to professional, learning to living, living to work, work to play. 

At doorways and windows, people move, look, and listen. They permit entry and protect against access. Sometimes they’re simple openings, alternately they involve barriers with locks for security and privacy.

Through doors and windows, we experience many states. Opening. Closing. Revealing. Hiding. Accessing. Retreating. Locking. Liberating.

Give thanks for what a door might offer or a window give. Let us appreciate these points of transition. —Rev Gail

Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. — Psalm 56

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. — Psalm 100

However, gratitude is not just an expression of good manners; it’s a doorway to higher consciousness.
— Chopra Center

Praying (excerpt) — Mary Oliver
…  just pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

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