“Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault
Thanksgiving makes me introspective about all my blessings. I will never be rich. I will never be president. My name will never be synonymous with beauty or fame. I may or may not publish my book, but even if I do, it probably won’t be shelved with Ernest Heminway, John Steinbeck, or William Faulkner. On most of the measures of worldly success, cars, flatscreen TVs, or beach houses, my life will never rank near the top. But I have been given amazing gifts that fill my heart with incredible gratitude, most importantly my husband, my family, my friends, my church and my work. I try to start my day giving thanks for all of them.
But this Thanksgiving I have also been thinking about the little things that I too often take for granted. And I remembered why. Twenty years ago on Friday November 13th I almost died. After weeks in the hospital I came home the day before Thanksgiving, weak as a kitten, but with an adjusted perspective that I vowed to hold onto. Life came into focus for me then and I learned:
- That even at our weakest, we still have something to give. We can still share someone else’s burden of sadness; we can still be kind
- That being clean is a pleasure, and a hot shower can make you cry
- That sometimes the best gift you can give is to let another person help you
- That holding someone’s hand can anchor them to life
- That speaking someone’s name can forge a connection and provide a validation
- That the world, the sunlight, trees, birds, clouds, contain all the beauty we need
- That there is pure joy in walking through the doorway of your home
- That nothing matches the comfort of your own bed
- That being held as if you were a treasure restores your spirit
- That it’s important to tell those you love that you do
- That petty disagreements are microscopic nothings in the big picture
- That life is an immense gift, and every day should be treasured as if it were our last
I think we all need to live as if we might die. The Pilgrims knew that. Intimately. They dug many more graves than they built houses. So they knew what was important and why they wanted to give thanks. So often our largest thanks should be for the little things that come with no pricetag but in the words of the commercial are nonetheless priceless. Kahil Gibran said it well “…in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning, and is refreshed.” Happy Thanksgiving everyone.