Ending the Month With a Grateful Heart

While my immediate area managed to skirt the worst of what Hurricane Sandy had to offer - particularly when it merged with a couple of winter storms - I cannot say the same for friends in the New Jersey and New York areas that were simply devastated...

As I watched a lot of the news these last couple of days, many referred to these extreme weather situations as the "new normal." We have indeed witnessed things pretty regularly that are both extreme and catastrophic. I think of the earthquake here last year, and the "Derecho" storm this summer that wreaked havoc in scorching heat and left us without power for days.

In the midst of all these situations I cannot explain, I simply choose to have a grateful heart. I am reminded of Meister Eckhart's often quoted saying:

"if the only prayer you ever say is thank you,
it would be enough."

To begin and end every day with a grateful heart is a practice - and its fruits are a blessing.

I went down to the river this morning to observe the aftermath of the hurricane and its subsequent flooding, but the entrance to the boat launch area was barricaded. I returned in the afternoon and parked on the side of the road and walked down with my camera to both observe and document the devastation. It was amazing to see the riverbank and trees under water, and the river surging urgently downstream.

It could have been so much worse here. It was in other areas where shorelines were wiped off the face of the map and homes that stood for more than century were swept away. And yet in spite of this, so many who had experienced unspeakable loss voiced their gratitude for having their lives and their loved ones by them. It is indeed a lesson for all of us...

Gratitude is the appreciation of what is, 
of life, of existence, of anybody and anything, 
for just the way it is.” 
~ Adyashanti

"When life is sweet,
say thank you and celebrate.
And when life is bitter,
say thank you and grow."
~ Shauna Niequist


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