Thanksgiving on a daily basis

November 22, 2010

Daily prayers of thanksgiving

This week Americans will be celebrating their national day of Thanksgiving. Do they have anything to be thankful for? It all depends on where they place their gratitude.

More and more, as I slowly sequester my own desires into smaller and smaller packages, I find my heart opening wider into the world of tiny delights. And this is sufficient enough to give me — each and every day — moments of near pure bliss. Yes, there are those shit suffering moments all us humans have to endure. But not withstanding this, are ability to be grateful on a daily basis — hell, on an hourly basis — is enhanced by how closely we observe what beauty actually companions us through each day.

I, also, don’t want to be a one day a year turkey eating person mouthing platitudes of thanksgiving around a dinner table with overly fed tired football TV watching relatives and then spend the rest of the year in a combative struggle with my career, my neighbours or the weeds in my lawn. I want to, on a daily basis, both deliberately or accidentally, find reasons to express gratitude.

Yesterday, for instance.

(One) After my neighbours Stan and Kaz came by in early morning to drop off some cake and check out what new sculpture I was working on, afterwards, I walked with them half way back to their home. Upon returning to my home I stopped along the path to smell the blossoming Scented Paper-bark (Melaleuca squarrosa) and Woolly Tea-trees (Leptospermum lanigerum) that were at their peak of blossoms and bee activity. Such perfection.

(Two) Carving in my open air studio, I noticed how exceptionally clear and crisp was the air and how the passing clouds danced shadows upon the tree circled hill side. Such fleeting beauty.

(Three) At noon, while joyfully sneaking in a 2nd cup of coffee on the deck just off the dining room, not only was there an exquisite cactus flower to observe, but a most small, probably less than a year old echidna wandered into the yard searching for his own ant version of deliciousness. Such delight.

(Four – see first photograph) Coming from the garden in the late afternoon and clutching close to my chest with both hands a supper bunch of broccoli heads and leaves, parsley and spinach, I passed the Buddha statute and was struck by the similarity of our poses. I literally was stopped in my tracks and a surge of knowing awareness flowed through me that said: Enlightenment is simply smelling the flowers and giving thanks.

(Five) And lastly, sitting at my computer checking emails late in the evening (around 8PM) I glanced out the door and noticed the breaking waves being hit by the setting sun. By now, I was near delirious with all the beauty encountered throughout the day. A glass of wine was needed to settle me down.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Teri French December 9, 2010 at 6:09 am

Thank you, Peter. Exactly what I needed this afternoon. I am afraid gratitude has gotten little attention from me of late. Your gorgeous photos and reminder have left me in a quiet place of rest. I hope someday I can come visit your incredible home.

Meg Moulton November 26, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Peter — The energy of Roaring Beach and your home there comes spilling through both your photographs and writings as you appreciate the small, fleeting beauties of the day. The last photo of sunset on the beach, taken at day’s end, closes the distance of half a world, as we in the Northeastern U.S. had finished early Thanksgiving feasts and walked forest trails before four o’clock darkness. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and Zen-like moments shared.

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