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Here in the northland, after a lovely lingering fall, we have encountered the chill of winter, with days hovering in [the 30s], and winter clothing quickly pulled from summer storage. It’s also the week [of] Thanksgiving, which probably holds as many different expectations and feelings as there are people. What’s in common, though, is the suggestion of thankfulness. Of taking a moment, in the midst of all that fills our days, to share a meal and so share our thanks for all that graces our lives. 

~Chris Heeter

Ms. Heeter, in what she calls a wild dare, invites us to stretch beyond the usual things that get said around a holiday table, or whatever tables we find ourselves at in the days and months to come:

See what you find, with an open heart and mind when you explore thankfulness. Notice the feel of sun on your face or the gift of words in a good book. See how deep you can go in your gratitude, not because you are “supposed to,” but because it’s intriguing, a daring and Wild thing to explore.

Of course we are thankful for good health, family, friends, and food, if we are fortunate enough to have those things.  But what goes unnoticed, even for those who are veterans at practicing gratitude?  Maybe it’s the feel of a warm oak-plank floor as the wood stove gets going late in the evening.  Maybe it’s the contrast that a chaotic barn provides to an extra clean house when you go out to feed the chickens before the holiday guests arrive for the long weekend.  Maybe it’s the gasp of frigid air into your lungs that pierces your attention and reminds you how extraordinary it is to experience life on a living Earth that is constantly in flux and always changing.  Maybe it’s the vivid red of a cardinal against a backdrop of pure white, framed by the boughs of an old evergreen.  Maybe it’s the way the late afternoon light filters through the ice crystals that cling to the hay that got left in the fields. Maybe it’s a heart that beats, a mind that seeks clarity and a spirit that craves a presence of something bigger than itself that carries you through the days and reminds you that you aren’t alone, no matter how many others say grace with you at your table.

may you see grace
wherever your eyes land.

May you need not look far
to feel the humbling knee-buckling delight
in being alive.

May these final weeks of 2015 be for you a season of gratitude, whatever country you are in and whatever beliefs and cultures inform your actions.  May this season invite you to honor the abundance and the beauty that is possible when you dare to look for it.  May you notice, in wild gratitude, the beauty that surrounds you.  And may that wild gratitude give you a foundation from which to be in the world.

This post originates at Embody Abundance Wellness.

Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr

Heidi Barr is the author of 12 Tiny Things: Simple Ways to Live a More Intentional Life (due out in January 2021) as well as four other works of non-fiction. A commitment to cultivating ways of being that are life-giving and sustainable for people, communities and the planet provides the foundation for her work. She lives in Minnesota with her family where they tend a large vegetable garden, explore nature and do their best to live simply. Despite working for an app-based tech start up, she plans to put off getting a smartphone as long as possible. Learn more about her work at