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On Giving Gratitude

This post’s posting is attempted through a mobile platform on my phone -- a first for me. I normally work off a laptop, for which I may be holding a burial service. Upon reaching for it to write this post, I dropped it approximately six feet onto a tile floor. Cracking noises emanated from a ring of smoke. I love you, laptop, and I am infinitely sorry for the mindless grab.

Back to the story. I had captured the image, left, this week after coming into the house from what seemed like endless and all encompassing snow shoveling. During my efforts, my daughter had come in, removed her seasonal gear, and prepared herself for school. I came in some time after and was greeted by this landscape of her belongings neatly placed on the door knob. Seeing her work moved me to tears.

It is of utmost importance to me that my children set forth with an understanding of and an appreciation for abundance in its many forms. I don’t allow belongings to be left on the floor and I don’t want clothing to even touch the floor. Partially because I am a tyrant, but also because I truly believe – and am not at all willing to bend on this perception – that the act of caring for our belongings is a sign of respect and an offering of gratitude. How ironic, I realize, as I sit here typing on my phone, the result of (unintentionally) mistreating my computer. Can you forgive yourself? These words, in my therapist’s voice, echo through my head. Not yet. But I’m working on it.  Smiley face.

We will never ultimately know all that went into the creation of our belongings. The two pictured above, both of which were gifts given to my daughter, come from opposite sides of the continent. She will never know who made the yarn, who drove the truck, who planned the design, who harvested or fabricated the material, how potentially little the hands were that touched her beloved items, and all of the toil that fosters our entire existence. None of us will. For it is because of these efforts, young and old, loving and creative, hardworking and potentially questionable, even illegal, that we are clothed, warm, fed, alive. Will she think about this? I hope so. It is only recently that I started to, and most certainly don’t always make the effort. But at the very least, wherever we are, we can with deep honor and gratitude towards all living beings for our very existence, take extreme care and pride in the way we hang our hat.

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