The weather today has finally turned cold after weeks of unseasonable warmth here in the Chicago area, but it is not unwelcome. It was starting to feel a bit strange to be mid-to-late November and still be walking around without an overcoat. I have had a lovely long weekend so far – the son is home from college, I read a whole book for fun on Tuesday night (Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl), and I have been marinating in family, good food, poetry and home ever since, feeling grateful.
Many people have been posting lists of what they are grateful for, and the short answer for me is everything and everyone. We can all take a lesson in gratitude from Marilyn Nelson, who is grateful even for the dust. Read her poem “Dusting” here. The science of the smallest and the greatest things is invoked in this simple poem, and the poet is grateful even for the chore, for the “sweeping circles” and dust climbing a “ladder of light.” (One of my other favorite poems of gratitude, “Welcome Morning” by Anne Sexton, also praises the small and the ordinary.) Share your thankfulness – as Sexton says, “The joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard, dies young.”
If you want to write:
1. Choose a chore or an ordinary item (vacuuming, a nail file, a potato peeler) and write a poem praising it for its fine qualities.
2. As in Sexton’s poem, do an inventory of your home and praise each item in your kitchen, your bath. Share your joy.