Outside my window, the world is turning multiple shades and tones of orange, red, and yellow. On this bright sunny day, these brilliant colors stand out against the clear blue sky. The sun acts like a magic wand, shining through the golden leaves making the backyard glow in a light seen only at this time of year, and only in the presence of trees.
When the wind picks up, the leaves swirl to the ground so that standing in the midst of them feels like standing beneath falling sunlight. The ground soon becomes a beautiful carpet of color that constantly shifts as the wind, animals, and birds move through it.
In a few more days, the trees will have revealed themselves completely, their bare limbs spread into space in an infinite variety of patterns. If I imagine just a bit, I can see them as dancers lifting their multiple arms in an outreach that includes everyone.
The only price paid for all this glory is pausing to be present in it. I know when that happens because within that pause a river of gratitude appears and sweeps me up in it carrying me along within its power.
When we are grateful, we are saying, thank you. In Spanish, the word for thank you is Gracias. Gracias stems from the word Gracia, which means Grace.
Grace! Of course, that is the feeling that pausing in gratitude brings. Gratitude, saying thank you, opens us to experience the omnipresence of Grace. What I love about the process of saying thank you is that we have to pause and notice the gift; we have to be present in the moment.
As I work, I keep glancing up, watching the changing colors of the day, and the birds eating outside my office window door. I have to pause again to be grateful for all this beauty, which is the natural state of Life.
I am grateful that this beauty is free. I am grateful that it requires nothing from me. I don’t own it. I don’t possess it. I am not in charge of it. It is the proof to me that Love, Its presence glimpsed in nature’s beauty, is the underlying force of all Life.
Isn’t this Grace? When we just pause, listen, and be present in the moment, we always find gratitude and grace.
One morning I found myself in the middle of a powerful river of gratitude. It was so big I had to start a list. It just grew bigger and bigger. I realized that when we start saying thank you, the gratitude river flows on and on, never stopping, but changing everything it touches.
Sometimes in the middle of what appears to be a hard time, it may be hard to feel grateful. We know we are in the grip of the opposite of grace, when we don’t even feel the desire to be grateful.
In those times, a drop of gratitude is as powerful as a river. Like a single drop of rain on our face, it alerts us to what is to come, the washing away of any beliefs that hide the beauty in our lives.
When we find someone in that dry place, we can supply that drop of water. We can tell them thank you for being in our lives, even if we have just met them. This drop of water can multiply into a river of gratitude, which will transform any situation.
I distilled my list down from that day to a few items to share with you. However, each one of them is just a peek into the immensity of unlimited grace for every living thing.
I am grateful for what I have, and grateful for what I don’t need to have. I am grateful that freedom from the need to possess and own comes easier each year.
I am grateful that we can’t buy grace. I am grateful that grace is the essence of all things, that it can’t be fought over, or hidden from view.
I am grateful for people that upset me, because it forces me to reexamine what I believe to be reality to see theirs, and my, true spiritual nature.
I am grateful for the community of wise thinkers that I have the privilege of knowing who share their wisdom and love so freely.
I am grateful for all kind people. For the light shining through good deeds that people do. I am grateful for the doers that take up the mantel of action towards equality for everyone.
I am grateful for the big organizations that take on the huge tasks of feeding and clothing the homeless, and grateful for each individual who does the same in a way that suits them best.
I am grateful for those that protect us.
I am grateful for the opening of thought that allows each of us to find God in our own way to praise and serve that idea in whatever way works for us in the moment.
I am grateful for those that think differently than me.
I am grateful for each individual that reaches out a hand, and each individual that accepts the hand that reaches to help.
I am grateful for Love, which can’t be seen or measured, but whose effect is felt everywhere.
I am grateful that all of this is the proof that no matter how much the illusion of lack, and duality is promoted, sold, or taught; Truth prevails and always dissolves the illusion.
I am grateful for the powerful river of gratitude that reveals grace. I am grateful for you.