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  • Writer's pictureMartha Calihan MD

The Season of Gratitude

Gratitude…..its a word we have come to expect to hear this time of year, and it can be easy to see and hear the word but not really stop to comprehend it’s meaning. Especially the meaning of gratitude to each of us, personally.

What does it mean to have gratitude? For what are we truly grateful in our lives? So many things I find I take for granted, and when I stop and spend time thinking about gratitude, meditating on gratitude, I realize just how many things there are for which I am grateful.

My family, the roof over my head, the food I have to eat, the work I am able to do, the beauty of the world around me, heat in the winter, the birds outside my window, the sunshine, the rain, my dog, peacetime, freedom…..the list, once you start, is almost endless.

But I don’t think the point is to see how long your list is, rather to actually feel, to experience, the sensation of being grateful. It’s almost overwhelming, there is so much.

It makes me wonder why I have been so blessed, why I am here, and what I am supposed to be doing with all that has been given to me.

It makes me think of Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day, that ends with the lines:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

As we head into the season of Thanksgiving and our thoughts turn to gratitude, I invite each of us to spend some time in reflection, thinking not only about that for which we are grateful, but also what we are called to do with such abundance.

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