Pearls of Glass: Warmed by gratitude

This rain is so cold… I wonder how it can be so cold and not be snow. I don’t like to be cold, and I feel like I can’t quite get warm.  I look out my window, and see dark and almost bare limbs reaching into a gray sky, which is dripping icewater into my veins.

Outstretched photo by shannon mayhew

This being Thanksgiving week, I sit down to write about gratitude. I remember the choice I have in every moment to “flip the switch” for how I experience the world.  Robert Emmons, known as the world’s leading expert on gratitude, tells us “it is vital to make a distinction between feeling grateful and being grateful.”  While we may not easily will our emotions to change, “being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives.”  (This article is from a wonderful website called Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Live by UC Berkeley).

I look out the window again. I breathe slowly, and notice hundreds of glass pearls resting along the undersides of the branches. I try to photograph them through the window, but they disappear through the lens. I put on my coat and head outside to capture these shimmering droplets.

The sky continues to offer its icy kisses, and I try to frame the decorated branches with chilled fingers.  I bend and lean and I see the light of the silver sky through the suspended pearls.  The rain taps a gentle rhythm on my coat hood.  My camera finds the droplets, and I capture them and bring them inside with me.

glass pearls photo by shannon mayhew

I sit down again to write, but first, I slide my icy fingers under my dog’s silky scruff. I feel her breath softly sigh against her throat, and I absorb the warmth she offers.

With hands warmed, pearls of glass captured, I now can write about gratitude.  So here is what I have to say:

This Thanksgiving week and always, may we all be blessed as we drink in the nourishing water of gratitude.

Namaste, and
Happy Thanksgiving!