GRANDPA STORY 10, The Power of Thanksgiving and Gratitude

GRANDPA STORY 10

The Power of Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Never neglect every genuine opportunity to say, “Thank you very much.”

Never neglect to learn and to outgrow everything, and finally say, “I am grateful.”

Check it out. How many times a day are you conscious of feeling and saying these words? “Thank you very much.” “I am grateful.” When something or someone gives you something or says something that means a lot to you, do you know the importance of expressing words of thanks, feeling your gratitude?

First of all, please don’t go around saying these words in a careless way. These words are not to be dutiful or casual; these words, when truly spoken from a conscious mind and heart, carry tremendous energy fields!!

Did you know that you can express thanks and gratitude just about anywhere anytime about any 1) mundane, 2) negative, 3) positive or 4) gigantic experience that you experience? (I use that phrase, “experience your experience” because so often, as a child and adult, I HAD experiences without “being consciously present,” without EXPERIENCING that experience in a reflective way. I was there physically but I had no idea I could choose to think about what I was doing or feeling or thinking at the time. So I missed out on what I could have learned from that experience.)

Let’s consider examples of mundane, negative, positive or gigantic experiences that led me to gratitude and thanksgiving.

1) Mundane experience- I turn my head to the left just now and look out through a clear glass window. I realize that I don’t know how to make clear glass! Somebody somewhere else made it, and I get to enjoy my snow-blown backyard with all the birds congregating around our bird feeders. Whoever you are, glass-maker, I thank you for making this glass and for the comfort of staying warm inside while I look through the glass window and enjoy my backyard. Ordinary? Yes. Mundane? Yes. Continue reading

GRATITUDE’S VISIT WITH VICTIM

GRATITUDE’S VISIT WITH VICTIM

On a very dark and desolate night

When no other creatures

Would venture out into such despair,

Gratitude finds her way through

Shadowy murkiness and obscurity

and knocks at the locked, rusty door

Of Victim’s house.

Knock, knock, knock.

“May I come in?” Gratitude asks.

She persists,

Knocking and waiting—

Knock, knock, knock.

Victim hears the intrusive interruption.

She is afraid.

Indeed, the knocking seems

Incessant, tireless and annoying,

Even judgmental in its persistence.

Gratitude calls out,

“Let me in. I am your faithful friend,”

but her words sound perverted;

to Victim they translate as

judgmental and imposing.

Knock, knock, knock,

Gentle and consistent

Gratitude continues in

Her modest visitation.

Fed up and overwhelmed

With stubborn self-will,

Victim rushes to the door,

Opens it and screams,

“Why do you torture me

with your trash talk?

Why don’t you go away

And leave me in peace?!”

Diatribes explode through her lips,

As poisonous arrows split the air.

At last, in the exasperated silence

There is space and time.

Gratitude quietly speaks. Continue reading

I’M LOOKING OVER THE LIFE THAT LIVES ME

I’M LOOKING OVER THE LIFE THAT LIVES ME

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Drawn

To reflect

On the life

That has tricked me,

The life that has blessed me,

I am enticed,

Yes, drawn,

Like a moth into neon light,

To that wonderful

And popular love song

of my early childhood:

 

I’m Looking Over

A four-leafed clover

That I overlooked before.

One leaf is sunshine;

The second is rain;

Third is the roses

That grow in the lane;

No need explaining

The one remaining

Is somebody I adore.

I’m looking over

A four leafed clover

That I overlooked

Before.

 

I see now;

That somebody

“I overlooked before”

Has all too often

Been that

Altogether Me

I kept

hidden

From myself.

  Continue reading

GRIEF AND GRATITUDE

GRIEF AND GRATITUDE

 

Grief and gratitude

will always be

very dependable

friends.

 

United in

their opposites,

they seamlessly

realize,

connect and

transform

past, present and future

through their

slowly refining

grist

of time,

self-discovery

and

trust in the

Mystery

of Great Mercy.

 

Our work

is to 

embrace

the opposites,

live now,

take the next step,

honor uncertainty,

receive

and 

remain awake.

HOW DO YOU WANT TO DIE?

HOW DO YOU WANT TO DIE?

Sometimes
my living
and my
dying
get all mixed up.

Sometimes I ask myself
“How do I prefer to die….
Sooner? Later?
Here? There?”

These fantasies and realities
of living and dying
become more poignant
more pressing,
more precious,
more necessary,
as I pass my years.

I have two choices:
to ignore it
(“and get on with my life”)
…. or confront it
(and actually hallow my reality).

I made the latter
choice some years ago,
while reading
Old Age
by my mentor, Helen Luke.

Now,
I am just beginning
to see
my own
dying and death
as normal
and inevitable
and very worthwhile
for me.

My, how aging mellows things!
Well,
I cannot escape it,
that’s for sure!

While in the depths
of a relentless ten-year
dark night of my soul
era
I awakened one night
sweating and
in deepest anguish
as I heard myself
saying aloud,
“I want to die
before morning comes;
The pain of my
existence is
simply too heavy
to bear.”

Continue reading

EVERY UNFOLDING MOMENT

EVERY UNFOLDING MOMENT

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Sunrise on Mt. Sinai, 2008, photo by Hal Edwards

Every unfolding moment,

second by second,

minute by minute,

hour by hour,

day by day,

I am given

yet another

grand invitation

to grow,

to awaken,

to serve.

 

Whether

winter or summer,

sleet or sunshine,

gain or loss,

the invitation

remains intact.

 

Teachers come.

They show up

out of the rhizome,

of some

invisible

and inexplicable

mystery

emerging from

inside the heart of

things.

 

I stand in awe.

My eyes are opened.

“Once I was blind,

but now I see.”

 

All things,

Everything,

every circumstance,

every accident,

every synchronicity

trumpets forth

“I am.  Thou art!”

 

My vision vibrant,

my ears unstopped,

my heart opened,

my mind sharpened,

I awaken

to a Great Mercy,

humbled, grateful,

gifted and chosen

to receive,

to praise,

and to trust.

 

The fog does not intimidate;

the furnace continually refines,

the suffering perfects,

the emptiness simplifies,

the truth liberates.

 

Every droplet

from every stormy blast

pirouettes gracefully

across the transparent panes

of my longing spirit.

 

My flowering hope

for Springtime

remains solid and rooted

under the frozen tundra

of winter’s foreboding

and invisible

disposition.

 

All things

work together.

They really do.

 

With the pregnant

Palestinian

Mary of Jesus

I kneel,

unknowing,

undaunted;

and in absolute trust,

I say,

Ad sum—

so be it.

 

-Hal Edwards

January 21, 2013

Inauguration Day

Wauconda, IL