“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero
How I love this time of year! It is a time when we think, “harvest,” but it is also a time to plant. However, unlike planting in the spring, fall planting is delayed gratification. My Tiger Lily bulbs, Daffodils, and Tulips are all snuggled in their earthen beds for the winter. In the spring they will wake up and grow into graceful shapes with brilliant colors, delighting me as well as all who visit Selah. It is worth the wait.
Planting seeds of gratitude in our hearts accomplishes the same thing. Our lives may be filled with problems, heartaches, and disappointments. We may have irritating people in our faces whose goal in life, it seems, is to make us miserable. When this is the case, it is so easy to focus on the negative. After all, this is our reality.
But . . . does it have to be?
We need to plant the bulbs of gratitude in the garden of our hearts. We may not see an immediate change. But gratitude will work its magic in us while our souls are in winter. Then, one day, gratitude will break through in our soul and we realize that we are more positive, our vision is clear, and we have hope even in the darkest tempest.
While searching for quotes this one by H. U. Westermayer hit me hard: “The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. We can learn from these brave people that while we may feel we have nothing to be thankful for, we really do!
Reasons to be grateful are all around us, but we overlook them because they are so small or taken for granted. Think about something you would hate to be without and then be thankful that you have it. I’m thankful for warm, drinking-quality water to bathe in and the hours I’ve spent the last few days laughing with my family and friends.
I plant the seeds of gratitude by reviewing my day, making a list of the things I’m grateful for, and writing them down. There is something about writing (or typing) that buries them deep in our souls.
This week, in the month set aside for thanksgiving, start planting seeds and bulbs of gratitude in your heart. Add to your list every night.
Spring will come, gratitude will bloom, making our lives beautiful.