If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

26 November 2006

On Thankfulness

Contrary to rumor and sometimes-popular beliefs, I am not an evil witch with a crusty black lump of coal where a heart should anatomically be. Occasionally, the sharp-tongued, quick-witted, potentially-abrasive, edgy and cynical Viaggiatore goes on vacation and leaves the defenses unmanned. In those moments when the armor is off I am reminded that my heart is disturbingly fragile and tender; a soft, pale-skinned baby taken out into the bright island sunshine after a long dark winter indoors.

Today, that heart is lumpy and swollen with gratitude.

I spent the better part of the last few days meditating on gratitude. Yes, it’s what we Americans are supposed to be doing this holiday weekend (though we are so easily seduced by the 6-am brawls at discount superstores over limited availability electronics). So perhaps it’s just that tiny sliver of “conformist me” shining through, but today, I am dizzyingly thankful. Drunk, if you will, with appreciation for the blessings in my life.

Thankful. While “thanks” has become a bit of a throwaway word in our world, the phrase “I am thankful” is not. It is hefty with weight and meaning.

I am thankful.

Thankful for opportunity.
Thankful for this crazy storybook life on a hilltop in Italy, in all its simultaneous beauty and frustration.
For the knowledge that the true peace of ‘home’ lives not in a specific place, but in my heart.
For friends who love me unconditionally.
For the ability to make choices.
For the resources afforded me, and for the awareness and responsibility that accompanies those many resources.
For the freedom to make a complete and total ass of myself for something that matters to me.
For the ability to believe.
For the blessings – the obvious and not-so-obvious ones – in my life.
For serendipity.
For fear, alternately motivating and paralyzing.
For the ability to feel.
For the ability to trust.
For safety and health.
For a sense of compassion for those in need.
For the ability to overcome inertia and do something, anything, to help.
For the incredible gift of time and space and flexibility to consider options.
For strangers who have welcomed me.
For friends disguised as acquaintances.
For soulmates disguised as friends.
For viewpoints different from my own that expand my world view.
For the ability to say … “I hadn’t thought of it that way before.”
For hope.
For the ability to learn.
For the ability to forget.
For new horizons.
For solitude.
For quiet togetherness, when there are no words.
For that very, very, very small circle of people who truly know me, and love me anyway.
For those people who push me to be my very best self, who believe in me even when my own belief falters.
For those who pick me up when I stumble.
For the wise counsel of those who care.
For the freedom to choose.
For the ability to stifle my fear enough to follow possibility.
For messages in the music.
For warm, sunny days with blue skies when I was expecting grey and dreary and cold.
For snowflakes and leaves and everything that crunches satisfactorily under my feet.
For uncontrollable laughter.
For twinkling, mischievous eyes.
For the tenacity to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
For the ability to get up again when I’m knocked down.
For the belief that things happen exactly the way they are supposed to … even when they seem miserable or scary or overwhelming in the moment.
For the faith that there’s a plan that I just may not understand.
For the ability to say, “I just don’t know… but I believe anyway.”
For the fear of falling.
For the ability to see the horizon.
For the opportunity to fly.
For the ability to stand at the edge of the unknown, swallow hard, and whisper … ‘if not now, when?’

I am thankful.

Ssssshhhhh. We stealthily snuck this little meditative reflection on gratitude in while the cynical, cranky, crusty-exterior Viaggiatore was sleeping. She's not gone, she's just ... hibernating a bit. (Maybe it's the traditional turkey-coma.) But, ummmmmm... let's just keep this between us, shall we? I mean, we DO have a reputation to protect. ;>


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thankful for cherished memories from long-time friendships. Happy Monday after Thanksgiving!

Daisy Boy

3:20 PM  
Anonymous elle said...

Wow! You made my list look really, really, really bad and ill thought out. I hope you're well! Can't wait until our paths cross. Are you going to be in Seattle for the big tour?

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awsome, glad your back with us. Sending photos.

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading this today. Since Thanksgiving (and everything that comes with it) seemed to disappear on me this year, it is nice to read all that you are thankful for and to revisit my own list this year.

Love you
Unassuming Princess

1:22 AM  

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