For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The lunar eclipse that took place on the solstice will not be witnessed again until sometime in the 2400s. Celebrating the incoming light and the wonder of living on earth in these remarkable life changing times feels like a recognition. It is celebration that is as planetary as it is personal. Giving thanks is an act of receiving. It is the whole body embrace of the goodness that makes the smallest events of life simultaneously simple and spectacular.
An ancient French proverb says, “Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” Tonight I am hosting one of my oldest friends who was my doula when my now 12-year-old was born. Now she visits with her little boys and I tease her about her dedication to nap schedules. She doesn’t remember how much she used to tease me. Time and love and growing up are the main course in life. Bearing witness and sharing ourselves ingrain life events deeply into our hearts. It is how we remember ourselves to love.
I created a candle light ritual tonight on the back porch to welcome in the longer light of the new days coming and to acknowledge the vast light that lives in, around and through me. I sang some old hymns that I used to put the kids to sleep with like Kumbaya with my daughter. Our voices were so clear in the night air. G.K. Chesterton said: “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.“
I want to know the feeling of gratitude intimately. I want to be able to recognize them when they are near.