As I was pondering gratitude on a daily standpoint, I found a lot of it had to do with nature. I was gracious that the sun was shining and it wasn’t too warm, that there were a lot of green trees from school, to my drive to work, and back home again that my lunch was composed of a lot of good green veggies and grains, and that our air was so clean. Assessing this and comparing what we learned this week about a growth-centric economy made me think of the destruction of nature in order for our economy to have more new production profit to measure in GDP. Even in Washington, which is considered one of the greenest states, we have forests that are borderline about to be destroyed for housing to be produced. Issaquah and North Bend, both places I have lived, have had many uprising arguments with development propositions for more apartments in place of forest. When most people think about gratitude, I wonder if they think about nature. In this economy, do people think about what they have and the growth they have made instead?
My daily rhythm of practice in gratitude is to first be aware of the blessings in my life. I find that the best time for me to do that is find time to meditate alone, usually in nature while out on a run, hiking, cycling, walking, or sitting outside with a book and coffee. The second rhythm of practice would be to thank the people around me for how they contribute to my own life and others around them. The action of vocally expressing awareness and thanking a person for it creates a stronger sense of community and a lifestyle of contributing to each other.
I hope this act of expressing gratitude to others helps cultivate a mindset of searching for the blessings we approach daily and an eagerness to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle for people and our planet.
Here is a sound bit of poet David Whyte: Life at the Frontier
Photo taken at the Mercer Island Slough Park