Gathering

DSC_0716We’ve spent months watching the same flock of turkeys who visit our yard almost daily. Chicks hatched in the spring matured to poults over the summer, and now all the birds in the flock look about the same. This fall, several new turkeys gather with the flock. We watch them land in our yard every morning and see them head to roost in the pine trees across the street every night.

Now that it’s the day before Thanksgiving, the flock’s disappeared. They haven’t been around for two days, and I guess they have some understanding it’s a good time to go. Strange, but true. Just the other day, I watched as they chased each other around the yard, uppity and looking a little irritable.

Maybe I noticed because it seemed they were feeling a little like I’ve been feeling.

So I’ve spent this week gathering gratitude.

While gratitude is a concept I intellectually understand, it’s sometimes a bit of a struggle for me to feel emotionally. Life doesn’t always look like it does in the picture – my picture – the one I’ve imagined in my heart.

I want more.

Or  less.

Of something soul related.

Either way, I’ve been a little cranky, dissatisfied, and truthfully, overwhelmingly negative in my thinking. I know this only because I’ve been mentally keeping track. Every time a resentful response leaves my lips or a sarcastic tone creeps into my voice, I tallied myself a mark. And these days, there’s been more negatives than positives.

I’m not proud. Resentment is so unattractive – inside and out.

A little gratitude, however, goes a long way.

I started by gathering quotes. I read them, wrote them, and posted them on Instagram. I felt for them in my heart, borrowing someone else’s ideas about gratitude until I could finally feel my own. Sometimes I just breathed through all that thankfulness when I felt especially needy.

And it worked.

Because just like those turkeys found some new place to roost, so did my discontent.

I am Thankful. So Thankful.

My husband gathered feathers from the yard all fall. One after another, I tucked those feathers into my  Thanksgiving centerpiece, filling the empty spaces – like gratitude filled the empty spaces in my heart.

That centerpiece – a symbol – a gathered collection of gratitude – grasses from out front, bittersweet from down the street, and a few flowers from a week-old bouquet my husband bought me … reminds me of love, home, hope, and how very many small moments of thankfulness add together to a life more beautifully lived.

Happy Thanksgiving and my greatest gratitude of all … to the man I love.

 

 

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