As an unofficial spokesperson for gratitude, even I forget to give thanks for what I have. Luckily, I have friends to remind me and put things into perspective. My friend Debby shared a poem on her site that reflects, she said, “the potential for us all to be grateful even when life is difficult.”
As I struggled to hit some deadlines this week while fighting bouts of cramps and bad allergies, I just kept telling myself, “I am lucky to have work. I am lucky that my body is functioning the way it should. I am lucky to be breathing.”
by G.E. Patterson
I had everything and luck: Rings of smoke
blown for me; sunlight safe inside the leaves
of cottonwoods; pure, simple harmonies
of church music, echoes of slave songs; scraps
of candy wrappers — airborne. Everything.
Mother and father, brother, aunts, uncles;
chores and schoolwork and playtime. Everything.
I was given gloves against winter cold.
I was made to wear gloves when I gardened.
I was made to garden; taught to hold forks
in my left hand when cutting, in my right
when bringing food to my mouth. Everything.
I had clothes I was told not to wear outside;
a face you could clean up almost handsome;
I had friends to fight with and secrets, spread
all over the neighborhood; the best teachers,
white and colored. I’m not making this up.
I knew that I had everything. Still do.