BootsnAll Travel Network


Putting aside all the world issues I cannot help, putting aside my griefs and questions, I walked this morning for a long time in the foggy dew, grateful for what passes for autumn in Texas. Not the spectacular leaf colors of the north; a more subtle shift of season, but beautiful to my eyes, smelling just the way autumn smells everywhere, and for many mild weeks. The sun came up among rosy clouds fading to golden yellow. The Chinaberry trees (as they are known here) are crimson and dotted with round white seeds that look like popcorn. Deciduous trees fade to rust and scatter yellow-brown leaves on the still-green grass. Migrating birds from the north take respite in our gentle mornings and gorge themselves on a plenitude of insects. I am grateful for this place. On the site where I stored my pictures of Portugal, I have uploaded pictures of this place and my family in it. All I feel is gratitude, intense gratitude, gratitude spilling over: for this place, for my little niche in it, for new and old friends, for a lifetime of memories, for the fact that my body and mind are still working well enough for what they need to do, and for the possibility that lies ahead. My son Chris called on Thanksgiving, wondering what lies ahead for me. I told him I’m going to retire from teaching in one more year, but after that I have no idea. He laughed, “That’s you, Mom. Everything is always a surprise. Nothing is ever planned or predictable.” Yes, I laughed, to my son who has lived in Tucson almost every day of his forty years; yes, I laughed, to my son who stayed married to his high school sweetheart for twenty years, till she was so severely addicted to methamphetamines that she endangered their children. Yes, I laughed, with real joy. Everything is always a surprise. He, too, is beginning to appreciate the delights of possibility, the wonder of the unpredictable. We are both grateful for our lives.


One response to “Gratitude”

  1. Jade says:

    I’ve just read your blog in its entirety and I am thoroughly engaged.

    I am on my own problematic journey with Buddhism and I find it exactly as you write it–brilliant in its simplicity and infuriating in its conundrums, but always replete with gifts. No matter, I enjoy anything that feels like a test, where I go right to the edge and have to use everything I know to keep from falling off. Or, discover that the edge is a dream and I am in as much danger of falling off as I don’t know, falling asleep.

    I notice a few of your replies wee dispatched from the Philippines. I’m in Manila myself.

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