I was nominated by my dear (and long-known) friend, Julie, on Facebook to record three things I am grateful for each day for five days. It’s been sort of a wild and crazy past few days, so instead, I’ve decided to record 15 gratitudes all at once. I have many gratitude lists on this blog and so I’ve decided to change things up a bit today with a photo list. Indeed, thanks to the iPhone, I always have a camera at hand these days and tend to take photos in some of my most grateful moments; moments when I can truly let myself into the overflowing joy and abundance that, while always present, often gets choked out by my affinity for worry and mindless clamoring after the ever-elusive sense of control.
One: I am immensely grateful that I live in a place where there is such an abundance of accessible green space, even in the heart of the city.
Two: I am grateful for the depth and variety of cultural experiences available in the Twin Cities area.
Three: I am grateful that on any given day from May to October, I can purchase locally-grown organic produce at countless Farmer’s Markets available throughout the Twin Cities area.
Four: I am grateful for books. They are always waiting for me, no matter how much time has elapsed since we last had time together.
Five: I am grateful that I spent so many years in the cold, frozen tundra of North Dakota. Now Minneapolis winters are (mostly) a breeze (except last winter–that was truly a North Dakota kind of winter).
Six: I am grateful for the preservation of wild places; places where people can hear their soul speak.
Seven: I am grateful that “my past” is now being preserved as history. The Minnesota History Center’s Exhibit on toys from the 50s, 60s, and 70s is extremely well curated and so worth seeing. I hail the efforts of all historic preservationists everywhere.
Eight: I am grateful that beauty erupts of its own accord. Life is celebrated daily by all of creation. Sometimes, finding this beauty is just a matter of changing one’s point of view. In this photo, if I turned the other way, I’d see a broken old highway.
Nine: I am grateful that we have been given the tools to help cultivate beauty in this world, if we so choose.
Ten: I am grateful for the thrill of the hunt. Wooded trail or estate sale? Tough decision. Either place, I touch down into the soft, unexposed underside where my dreams, hopes, and greatest love resides.
Eleven: I am grateful for this little yellow cottage; a place where my voice has found it’s way to paper this past year.
Twelve: I am grateful for this little brown cabin that my Grandpa Roy built; a place that contains most of my very best memories (because, like Neil Young, “in my mind I still need a place to go”–from Helpless).
Thirteen: I am grateful for the deep love I’ve had in my life, as well as the joy found in letting go, repeatedly, of that which I love.
Fourteen: I am grateful that Minnesota mandated newborn hearing screening by the time Josh was born; I am grateful for early intervention so that now I can hear my four-year old tell me that he “might get carried away and decide to be Darth Vader” this year for Halloween. I am so grateful I get to hear all of the funny little things Josh has to say everyday.
Fifteen: We risked a good deal for this love; in return, it gave us everything. Gratitude.