Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grateful for Life

As I was bloghopping on Sunday, I stopped by Shoreacres who has an extraordinary post that is primarily centered around a poem by Carl Sandburg that is absolutely gripping. It struck me with particular relevance, as our city is reeling from unemployment, the end of manufacturing autos as we know it, and so much more.

In the comments section, Janell mentioned a scene from "Our Town" (Thornton Wilder), which I will print below. In the play, Emily has died and making her goodbyes.

Emily (in deciding to return to the grave:) “Good-bye, good-bye, world. Good-bye Grover’s Corners…Mama, Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up. Oh earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”

(Then, to the stage manager) “Do human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”

Stage Manager: “No.” (pause) “The saints and poets maybe. They do some.”

As I continue giving thanks this month, I am so grateful for all that is life and beauty in this world. Even our most challenging days, our most troubled times have some joy and beauty if we look hard enough to find it. But really -- is it that hard?

The kind word that someone give you when you're down or the band-aid provided when you fall and skin your knee. (Thank you, Rick.) Oh, and learn four days later that you also broke your arm that day. Bad week. But grateful for the band-aid!

Being held and told it'll be OK, or we'll get through it, even when that seems almost impossible.

The long walk, when it's not too hot, not too cold; crisp, lovely and just right.

The sound of the rain -- which even on the upteenth-million day in a row of gloom and wet -- still sounds so relaxing and so healing.

The last of the flowers -- for you know they'll be here again next spring. Grateful for something to look forward to.

Music. Especially when it's played just for you.

You get it. And isn't it wonderful, really? I suspect -- even on the worst days -- you're a little bit grateful for those things, too.

(I have a new book commentary over on Chopsticks and String -- stop by if you're a mystery fan! And all three articles on creativity and style are there too. The most recent has some good links to some creative bloggers!)


Shaista said...

The wonder of gratitude - it is even more powerful than hope, because you are living, truly living in the now.
Thankyou for this piece - particularly for the scene quote from Thornton Wilder, a play in whic I acted at university, but I had forgotten those words... so strange to 'blog-hop' as you call it, and discover parts of your own self reflecting from so many corners of the globe :)

Pam Aries said...

A very moving post. It actually is still giving me goosebumps. I keep thinking nostalic thoughts..and wonder what is going to happen t o this country...I see us going back to simpler times eventually.. which is not a bad thing.

Annie said...

I could not help but think of my son as I read this and the trials he had gone through these past two years. I find it apt that he is recovering now in the season that started the downward slide. Life is truly a circle and I am grateful.

BONNIE K said...

Today - a summery day in the middle of fall - is the perfect day for this kind of reflection. I think we all feel down in the dumps when we have wet cold weather, and we need this sunshine and warmth to reflect on all that is good. I went to pull the plants out of my veggie garden with Bing the Cat, and he actually kept hitting me with his paw cause he was angry that I was removing the plants from what he must see as his garden.

beth said...

as we approach's good to reminded to appreciate what we have and the litttle things that sustain us....

acutally we need to do this all year round, but this month is always a gentle reminder...

Sugar Bear said...

Lovely words and perfect for this Thanksgiving season.

Sugar Bear said...

Lovely words and perfect for this Thanksgiving season.

Beth said...

This was an excellent post, Jeanie. It so matched how I felt this week-end and today. It was a perfect week-end for a change and I was so totally Thankful. I had to post about it too.
Hope the arm is healing!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

broken = ouch! take good care
lovely post Jeanie, thought provoking and sweet!

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