It's difficult to argue with gratitude. Ironically, it can be difficult to get to gratitude, too. Because we expect the gift to look different, the call to come on time, the answer to be obvious (and hopefully, 'Yes.')...
But usually is doesn't, and sometimes it won't, and often it's not.
And what if my celebration is ill-timed with anothers' misfortune? Does my gratitude fly in the face of the needs of another that have gone unmet? Can my joy cause another pain? Doubts can cloud over me to the point that it feels insensitive to celebrate and give thanks.
I am aware of the tendency to quiet my gratitude and make it pallatable to all--not too over-the-top, but sincere--so much so, that it may not be recognized for what it is. (*Which is an appropriate response to a gift, given).
Today I am aware of gifts in disguise. They descended upon me during a very busy week and I almost missed them, until I started tripping over them in their abundance:
Finishing my huge library book before getting an over-due notice. No lines at the store when I was in a hurry. A phone call from a far-away friend. The opportunity to volunteer with my husband. Snuggles from a tiny baby. A temporary canine guest. A walk on a gorgeous, February day. A much anticpated get-together. Leftovers for dinner. Guests for breakfast.
Nothing life-changing, unless I let it stop me in my tracks.
“Earth is crammed with heaven, And every bush is aflame with God But only those who see, take off their shoes The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.”
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
It is so easy to sit around a pluck blackberries--it takes an expectant heart to hope for the flames amidst the fruit.