Unpublished Work © 2011 Cristina Carlino
thinking of home has me thinking more than ever this year of all the people who are finding themselves hanging on to their homes by their fingernails or those who are dreaming of just one good night’s sleep in a local shelter. the increased reported numbers of adults and children living in subways and shelters in new york alone is up over 30 percent from 2009 – a fact that is hard for me to wrap my head and warm woolen scarf around. it’s easy to feel bad and guilty. harder to remember that guilt is a weak and useless emotion next to the strength of gratitude.
gratitude for even the most simple of things, like a warm piece of toast with a little butter. or for the ability to supply that and a word of kindness to someone in need. gratitude is one of our great and only god given powers. but it’s hard to be grateful when we feel we are not having the relationships or other goodies we may want. easy to take for granted all we have and have always been given. it’s easy to be grateful when we have a windfall of good fortune. harder when we are without shelter and trying to protect ourselves from the wind. but whatever our particular situations may be this particular thanksgiving, our ability to give thanks is what still is our great equalizer. it brings us to our home. maybe not the home where we get our mail delivered – maybe not the mansion we’ve imagined should be ours or a simple, small house with the roof over our head – but nonetheless our ‘home.’ ours to carry with us wherever we go.
this year something i am grateful for is i have had the willingness to further pump up what i have come to see is a gratitude muscle. it has to be exercised daily. otherwise, like everything else it starts to get weak and flabby. thanksgiving is the perfect day to begin again. maybe not a diet but a workout of thanks. sincere thanks. so where do we start? simply. i’m thinking of the classic children’s poem written by the great robert louis stevenson for this holiday. it’s called, appropriately, “thanksgiving.”
“the world is so full of a number of things, i’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”
to this i will add “amen”. and a-women, too. beginning with the fact that i can breathe and that i have fingers to type (although certainly not without error). i am grateful to have you reading my words. i have a world to be grateful for. and a world of love to give in return. how about you?
peace and thanksgiving blessings