"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend" ~ Melody Beattie
I took the long way home yesterday; the road that winds up through the timber dense hills breaking out into green fields of agriculture. An early morning Thanksgiving visit to the ranch to feed was in order to allow for my busy Turkey Day schedule. The day's feast needed to be whipped up while honoring our long standing family tradition of a movie in the theatre which meant a good three hours away from home. As I drove along, my mind making and checking lists, I looked up ahead around the corner darkened by thick overgrowth, just as four deer slowly stepped out onto the road. I slowed down as I approached them, watching their elegant prancing trot as they crossed over to the forest waiting to swallow them up into unnoticed blending on the other side. I came to a stop and looked left, my grandpa's forest training that has become instinct to me after years of hunting with him, and indeed it was as I knew....a big doe brought up the rear guard. I watched her cross there in front of my big red truck, pronging quickly once she passed the far head light, ending with a big leap to join her family who had already gone safely ahead. I sat still, trying to watch the family for as long as I could see them until their camouflage tricked my eyes and they could have privacy. After they were gone, I felt like I had been given a gift....one of remembering yet again that life is full of tiny little gifts if I am willing to be open and watchful for them. Willing and watchful while dying to my clock, allowing time to be filled with gratitude for small treasures I collect as life unfolds.
There are days where I allow myself to get caught up in a taken for granted life. I focus on what needs to be done, what needs to be fixed, or worse yet what I don't have, what goals have fallen short, what requests have not yet been filled. My to-do list never gets done. Not that I am not productive but there are always things to add; more projects taken on, more goals to meet. I guess I'm thankful for the awareness of this flaw in me. I'm hoping that awareness leads to a better, more noble quest to find gratitude. And I'm not talking of the gratitude that is conjured up to meet some manifestation of more.....I'd like my quest to be a little different. I'm searching for the Holy Grail of Gratitude; the kind that permeates my soul and comes out just because I'm open, looking, knowing that little gifts happen everyday if I'm available, without expectation to what they will look like.
Last evening, as Thanksgiving 2013 began its sunset into Black Friday, I've thought over the past year, many of the deer crossing moments that came my way and I wondered if my friends know how grateful I am for their part in the gifts. The friends that watched my ranch time and time again, lambing out culls while I attended Heppner, watching the flock while I hit the road for Kentucky, chicken sitting my flock of hens. I think about the friend that drove with me for three weeks, living out of a little 17 foot travel trailer, 7 dogs 10 days of trailing, endless miles filled with the exchange of blood, sweat and tears. While another opened her ranch in Nebraska taking on two little known travel weary girls who sorely needed a washing machine and a bit of dog work. Then there was the friend in Missouri that allowed a helping hand during a time when having someone around might just make for more work. Another friend being willing to share a ride and work out the details of a Washington DC airport with two dogs and all the stress and overwhelm that was trying to stop my trip to the Virginia Finals. The phone calls when real life got a little heavy, the support when the impossible took courage, when many a superficial friend would bale, there were those who dug deep, stood in the gap, carried me for a little while. The friend that I am thankful to call a mentor, speaking true words to me; giving precious time to watch my dogs run, to not give up on me. A friend that allows the trust of big fields and flocks of sheep for my pleasure. The friends that decompress after runs with truth, honesty, death to ego....those who share the journey knowing it is more about self. The new friend that shares in the dogs, the work, the training.
Today, with everything in me, I want to thank you! Thank all of you who have given me a little bit of yourself....crossing in front of me on the road of life. I can't even begin to express all the gratitude I have for each of the gifts given, big or small, known to the world or known just by me.......how thankful I am for what each of you helps mold me into.
“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” ~ Lao Tzu
May I be filled with gratitude every day I draw breath.....
Seize the day!!!!
Spot March 2017; Listening; Hearing
15 hours ago