Friday, 15 July 2011

Things I'm grateful for

My mother-in-law is a remarkable lady - no jokes about dragons-in-law here. Last year, at the age of 82, she exhibited for the last time in the annual show of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers at the Mall Gallery. This week she phoned Jane and mentioned, by the by, that she'd been gardening last Saturday and, pulling out a shrub, had fallen backwards down a flight of concrete steps, gashing her head, her legs and arms, and bruising herself all over. The minor injuries clinic took an hour to patch her up and told her to do nothing for 48 hours. Her verdict was without a hint of self-pity, "I was very lucky, wasn't I?" She wouldn't countenance cancelling the overnight visit of an old friend a couple of days later. They entertained him and took him out. Well, she said, keeping busy took her mind off it all. They don't make them like that these days, as they say! Actually I think they're wrong. I think they are people like that around still, with what's sometimes called an attitude of gratitude.

In fact since Monday when we went to visit Tony I've positively been trying to look out for the things I'm grateful for. And I don't mean the sort of gratitude urged on us when faced with a lukewarm unappetising school dinner: "Eat up. Think of the starving millions; they'd be grateful for just a bit of that." To which the answer (unspoken of course) is, "Well, they're welcome to it all." That's comparative, and usually negative, gratitude. "I'm grateful I'm not starving, not that ill, not living there etc."

I've been thinking about the sheer gifts I enjoy, such as:
I'm grateful for the circling red kites which add glamour to our humdrum suburban skies.
I'm grateful for the wood warbler which came and picked the bugs off our smoke tree.
I'm grateful for the hoverflies which fly in and out of the conservatory hanging in the air like miniature humming birds.
I'm grateful for the sunshine which relaxes my muscles and for the rain which keeps the lawn reasonably green.
I'm grateful for the dentist who's going to sort out my teeth - again.
I'm grateful for the man who services my lift and for the chap who repairs my wheelchairs.
I'm grateful for our nice home adapted to my needs, and I enjoy being able to look at a constantly changing, interesting garden.
I'm grateful for the car which means we can get out and about.
I'm grateful that we can afford to go away for holidays together.
I'm grateful that I am able to see rivers and lakes and oceans.
I'm grateful that I can sit on a hillside and watch Jane and Jess (our dog) go off for a walk - and return.
I'm grateful that I can sleep next to Jane in bed.
I'm grateful that I'm married to Jane and she's a good cook - and all-round good egg.
I'm grateful that my family all have jobs that I admire and are such fun company.
I'm grateful for my friends who seem to like me and have stuck with me.
I'm grateful for every day which brings new things to learn, some pleasurable, some painful - but such is life.
I'm glad to live in a universe which is so vast, and beautiful, and complex, and intricate, and endlessly mysterious.
I'm glad to know that existence is not absurd or pointless.
I'm grateful that the secret of life's origin and destiny is found in someone who lived the most loving and selfless life, in history (c. AD 1-33).
I'm glad Jesus Christ knows me.
I'm grateful to be alive.


  1. "When you have thanked your God
    For every blessing sent,
    What time will then remain
    For moaning and lament?"
    Don't know who wrote it but I like it!

  2. That's lovely. You might enjoy this blog which was born out of an attempt to see if the author could find 1000 things to be grateful for.