I am grateful for: the brightly shining moon lighting up the dark, wintry, cloudy sky; my warm single bed and my pillow between my legs, my nuanced imaginings, as I drift off to sleep, of holding you, instead; my loyal dog’s greeting as the dawn arrives, with his emotional plea to get me out of bed, open wide the door for him so that he might run free in the woods, this early, early damp, misty morning. I am grateful for: the early morning grey-blue foggy hue hanging in the multitude of silent, tall, mysterious trees; the voice I hear come over the airwaves as I plug in and turn on the radio.
I listen to “Humankind,” where, as it happens, a conversation is ongoing, about the true meaning of this season of giving. They agree that the ultimate gift is the expression of gratitude towards one another, in small, gentle ways, that do not reinforce the destruction of our planet: to write a letter to someone you love and deliver it in person; to bake some cookies with a child in your life and gift them to others; to show the children who grow up so entitled that they can also give and find the joy in so doing, by sharing what they have with other children who have so much less; to express your love and gratitude by sharing some quiet time with your beloved friend, taking a meditative walk together in the woods, or simply sitting together in front of the fire.
I am grateful that I could listen to this conversation and not have it elicit tears from the depths of my soul, as this morning, for the first time in many, many days, I woke up happy. I felt free once more, glad to have chosen to live instead of not. My house robe felt exceptionally cozy as I slowly made my way down the stairs, dimly lit by the glow of the propane heater on the wall at the other end of this small room. The chaos and clutter did not look so awful to me as usually it does. I thought for a moment that I might clear up some of this mess today.
I opened up a drawer and found a thirteen-year-old decoration that was from China, a gift from my son’s friend in high school, an exchange-student. I brought it out of the drawer and let it fall open in all its metallic, colorful, intricate design. I hooked one end of it on a nail sticking out of the rough-cut oak post that holds up one end of my house and looped it across the gap to the next post, where there happened to be another nail. I took the middle part of this decoration and placed it on a new nail I put into the beam over my head, careful to not lose my balance on the stool. I have not put up any decorations at Christmas in several years, thus, this spontaneous urge to decorate, small as it was, satisfied something inside of me.
I have been here all along, but this year, especially the last couple of months, I have heard a running debate in my head as to why and for what purpose I am here. I cannot fit my life into a frame of normalcy. It has not ever been “normal.” I have never been in a lasting “love” relationship, wherein I felt nurtured, appreciated, truly loved for who I am. Therefore, in my head, I came to believe that this might not be something I shall know or experience this lifetime. I shall never a “wife” be to another. Yet, when I go through the feelings I have had recently, I muse on how it is I still have a bit of that dream inside of me, in spite of all the failed relationships in my past. I struggled for days and nights, trying to see my way through, to understand this need that seems so unrelenting, so beyond my grasp. Then I realized that I need never grasp for anything that is real, or not real. Love, simply, is. It cannot be put in a box. Love can be shared, felt, expressed, but it is never something to be put on a shelf or hoarded, for then it is not love.
The other realization that came to me is that maybe all of this life is just a grand illusion, and that I am actually not even REALLY here! I am in a magical play, participating with my own performance, and it does not even matter anymore as to why or what for. I simply jumped into this realm of my own free will and am here for a bit of time. Down the way, I will jump back out, and perhaps I will chance to meet up, in another dimension, the other souls I played with here, and we can laugh together and say, “Hey, now that was fun, wasn’t it? Let’s do it again sometime, or maybe not! So good to see you here!”
My point is this. I AM LOVE. I love everyone and everything and nothing! It is out of this love that I feel this gratitude, for ALL THAT IS, which includes you, and you, and you! I am grateful you are here and that I meet you now and then. I am grateful that I sleep at night and that the new dawn arrives. I still have eyes I can open, with which to see, and a heart that still beats, with which to feel. I am grateful.