Mundane Gratitude

Don’t get me wrong. Gratitude is not a mundane deal for me. Quite the opposite. Gratitude, for me, is cultivated thankfulness for the ordinary, routine, mundane things of life that surround me every day. It’s about attending to and appreciating the aspects of life that I might otherwise ignore because they are part and parcel of my everyday existence.

In the late 90s I was introduced to the work of Esther de Waal who reawakened the awareness of Celtic spirituality and its application to everyday life. Among other things, Celtic spirituality emphasized the people’s awareness of the attending presence of God in the everyday events of the day – the milking of cows, the banking of ashes in the hearth, the final moments before sleep. De Waal spoke of the ordinary, rountine, mundane things of life being “edged in Glory.”

Over the years since then I’ve tried to cultivate an awareness of my life being “edged in Glory,” but a conversation with my art practitioner friend Barbara Price Davis in June really expanded my vision of the possibility of everyday gratitude. Inspired by one of our graduate students in Eastern’s masters in urban studies with an emphasis on art in transformation, Barbara began regularly posting on Facebook what she was grateful for. I loved these brief, simple snapshots of her life; they were an opportunity for me to have an on-going sense of her life and the things significant to her even though she lives thousands of miles away. And they made me think about what I was grateful for.  

When I returned home after the June Buildabridge Institute in Philadelphia I began daily Facebook posts of the mundane daily bits of life for which I was grateful. 

Over the months here are some of the ordinary, routine, mundane things I was grateful for:

I was grateful of soft air, brilliant blue skies, stop lights and coffee…not particularly in that order…

I was grateful for an afternoon of making art with friends, a successful Plan B, electric drills and thin plastic ties…

I was grateful for Tacky glue, gold glitter cord, a fresh razor blade, and a banner finished and hanging on the design wall…

I was grateful for flowers that smell like chocolate, marigolds that volunteer without being asked, garden clippers, and the aroma of chocolate sundae pudding in the oven…

I was grateful for small pizza boxes, gesso, raspberry drizzles of paint and a knee that’s feeling lots better. It could have been otherwise…

I was grateful for x-rays, great looking bones, absolutely no arthritis, and maybe only a small meniscus tear… 

I was grateful for a long Skype conversation with a woman from Zimbabwe working with women in recovery in Mexico City. The world is flat but full bodied when we use the arts to help others heal…

I was seriously grateful for 20 yards of fusible webbing at half price, friends who find friends, stale triple ginger gingersnaps, and friends to go to dinner with…

 I was grateful for garden gloves, fewer weeds, ice packs and waking up without any back pain…

Not surprisingly, there are themes in my gratitudes. I am grateful for the encouragement to look further afield in the ordinary, routineness of my life to see what other mundane gratitudes I might give voice to. 

At this time of Thanksgiving, what are the ordinary, routine, mundane things you are grateful for? If your gratitudes were a summary of your day, what would be the themes that emerge? What other mundane gratitudes would you like to give voice to?

I am grateful for and look forward to your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

3 comments to Mundane Gratitude

  • Candi Tovar

    I love your websites! As I read them I hear them in your soft voice and see you actually see bu saying the words. Very calming to me. I am so thankful I have you as a friend and for your website! Love you Lynn

  • Deanna J Bowling

    On thinking about Matt’s sermon this last Sunday on inertia, I am reminded of and thankful for all of those “outside forces” that served in getting me “up and moving” again and again.

    In Bible study this morning, as we have been discussing for awhile, when talking about the Holy Spirit, I remembered walking by the chain link fence that surrounds the cemetery where my sister was later buried. I said, “I could probably use some help but I don’t know where to get it”. It wasn’t long after that, that GOD started moving things/people around in order to give me the help that I didn’t know how to find on my own.

    Love, hugs and prayers,

    Deanna

  • it’s a rainy day in Philadelphia; chilly too…
    today I venture out by myself, down to one crutch from hip surgery!
    I’ll take the bus to my senior citizen art gig…so looking forward to seeing my ‘nana’s & pop pops’
    I am grateful for the small steps; the slowed pace…

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