Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Finding a Place of Gratitude in the Heart

I have come to see gratitude as primary among the spiritual virtues, the wellspring, as it were.

True gratitude is magnificat; that is, it magnifies. Not just me, but others in my life as well.

Gratitude is not strictly a private emotion but uses the personal to convey something more universal, stories that others may also claim as their own or relate to in their own lives.

Gratitude can reverberate throughout one's relationships with others and the world like a small stone skipping across the pond.

I often get this sense of gratitude from trying to "see" and "feel" the world around me, trying to find a balance between activism and gratitude. I try to practice this on a daily basis, although not always successfully.

That is one reason I am often found with my camera strapped to my shoulder. I want to document the beauty of the world, not just the grisly injustice.

Yesterday I climbed up on a ladder (from a safe distance) to take these pictures of swallows nesting over my front door.

I find the new life growing so close to the heart of my home is a beautiful thing.

I often watch as the parent birds fly out from under the porch and across the front garden.

Watching a bird in flight still fills me with the same sense of awe it did when I was 8 years old.

When I pay attention and stay in the present I can become like that bird, flying over the garden and back to its nest.


At 8:17 AM, Blogger betmo said...

that is a beautiful mental picture and sentiment. thanks for bringing us back around to appreciate our lives and the wonder that is this beautiful country and planet.

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous earl bockenfeld said...

Thanks glenda for the generous mood this fine post brings to mind. I'm reminded of this quote by Albert Schweitzer:

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

When I pay attention and stay in the present I can become like that bird, flying over the garden and back to its nest.

So lovely. Beautiful darden as well. Hope you have a wonder filled day.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Oh, that was lovely, just lovely. I have a pair of cardinals nesting in the vine right outside my kitchen window. When I first saw them, I whispered, "Thank You".

At 10:10 AM, Blogger glenda said...

"Thank you all," Glenda whispered.

At 1:12 AM, Blogger sumo said...

Interesting nest they put together. I've managed to have hummingbirds nest 3 years in a row in a tree here that is basically at eye level. So we get to watch their progress...but only when Mom is out looking for food. They are awesome to observe as they grow.

At 4:55 AM, Blogger Lily said...

Thank you for reminding us of gratitude. I've been trying to think about it more lately, and how others have given so freely of their time to be helpful or thoughtful or to just share moments.

Thank you for this most wonderful post, Glenda.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger glenda said...

Sumo, I have hummers in my yard, but have never seen a himmingbird nest. how cool.

Right back at you, friend EB.

At 5:18 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Well said and I can't agree more. Every morning on my walk/run I take note of all the beauty I see and say thank you.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger glenda said...


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