So, in this space and during this time of year I have written before on gratitude practice. To me, as an attorney whose professional life centers on conflict, I have always tried to hold the traditional holiday season as a time to slow down a bit and spend some time in reflection on what the past year has brought and what I have done with the days that were given to me. As I write this piece I am waiting for my son to arrive home from Boston to spend time with us during Thanksgiving. My waiting for him reminded me of a time in his early life when he (and we) suffered a health scare that gratefully was only that—a scare. But I remember that it taught me a lesson in gratitude. It taught me to see the sacred in the outwardly mundane, and to know that in the sacred, nothing is mundane.
I wrote this small piece in that time immediately after our scare:
Outwardly, nothing was different this morning.
I kissed my wife to awaken her, as I have done for thousands of mornings.
I brought her coffee, as I have done for thousands of mornings.
Dressing for work I gazed at the river, pre-dawn darkness melting at the first hint of the sun’s rising.
I kissed my son to awaken him, as I have done for nearly every morning of his life.
We together, in the kitchen, at breakfast.
Assembling books and backpack, briefcase and lunches.
Kissing them both goodbye, until we are all together again.
Each away: school, work, office. And then:
Together again, in the kitchen, at dinner.
Evening noises; lighted windows, laughter.
All fades to night sounds and silence.
Cats settle and we all sleep.
As we have done.
Inwardly, I realized that I was overwhelmed with gratitude for an ordinary day.
As I aim to be for all the next days that are offered to me.
Thank you for letting me share this with you. And let me wish all of you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!