Gratitude

22 05 2013

I started off with a different title. My thought this morning was, that’s just about enough of that attitude, young lady – along with all the times as a child when I was informed by my mother that I had fifteen minutes to go into my room and come back out with a smile on my face. Which led to the words “attitude of gratitude,” and as much as I appreciate the idea, it has the whole evangelical Up With People vibe, and just…no.

But gratitude itself? Yes.

I’ve been torturing those who love me for the last three weeks. Functioning normally at work, and nobody there would know that there’s anything going on. But home, chorus, relationships – they’ve all had to deal with Katherine During May. I don’t even want to deal with Katherine During May. Especially this May. How many times I have burst into tears in the last few weeks because I’m coping with challenges A through E, but then then a totally piddly problem F comes up and I am utterly undone. I mean, really. It makes perfect sense from in here, but I think those who love me have had to put up with an irrational and unpredictable storm system – lightning strikes and cloudbursts that appear to happen pretty much at random.

That’s just about enough of that.

The focus needs to move – WILL move – from inside my head to the rest of the world. Making lists of things you’re grateful for can seem contrived. Nonetheless, the tool works. Here’s what I’ve seen, and yet somehow didn’t see, because my vision was so inwardly directed:

• A tomato plant that started putting out flowers. I put plants in the first weekend in May in a fit of probably-foolish optimism. The cool spring this year has kept the plants from bounding out of the earth with their usual enthusiasm, but I have one plant that isn’t going to let silly things like dramatically below-normal temperatures slow IT down. It’s only about eight inches tall. But it has flowers.

• The pepper plant next to it, all of six inches tall, has apparently been inspired to do the same thing. There’s something very brave about a plant that small thinking that it’s ready to start bearing fruit.

• I put a birdbath in the garden in back – a pretty glass one, and I didn’t spent a lot of time thinking about placement because garden design? Not really a strong point. I found what looked like a decent empty spot and put it there. I noticed yesterday that in the afternoon, a luminous and shimmering reflection from the birdbath shows up on my kitchen ceiling.

• A couple of days ago I got a SCOBY from a friend in Washington. I’ve never met this friend. We found each other on a now-defunct social networking site, and then when that went under, we found each other again on Facebook. She is earthy, sensual, and generous – and she sent me a SCOBY. So last night I started my first batch of kombucha. In a flower pot, because the largest glass vessel I have is a vase that holds a little over three quarts. Is it weird to ferment in a flower pot?

• My songbird feeder – the one with the black sunflower seeds that squirrels theoretically don’t like – empties in a matter of a couple of days. I’ve had the chance to watch what happens. The birds decide which of the identical seeds looks tastiest, and the others fall to the ground. Where the squirrels eat them. And what the squirrels don’t find, the chipmunks do. Sitting on my patio, I’ve watched several of them run past me, cheeks so packed that their heads are the size of the rest of their bodies. It’s possible this should irritate me. Instead, it tells me that A, I need a different feeder design, and B, squirrels and chipmunks are flexible and inventive. I have to admire those qualities.

• The world is still here. In spite of me curling into an emotional ball and doing the equivalent of la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you, the world kept going and welcomed me back. I’m grateful to be in it.

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3 responses

27 05 2013
Bob

{edited by moderator to remove puerile attempt at baiting}

24 05 2013
Bob

{Comment from wee small troll removed by moderator for not being related to… well, anything important.}

24 05 2013
Katherine

Non sequitur much? What does this have to do with the posting?

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