I once dated a girl who taught me about meditation. It changed my life. She taught me to be grateful, and to be very specific when expressing my gratefulness. Today being Thanksgiving, I decided to write a post, and be as specific as I can for the things that I am grateful for in my life.
I drove 10 hours yesterday from Huntersville, North Carolina to my hometown of Buffalo, New York in order to see my family, my dog, and a beautiful new baby that my best friend was blessed with recently. All while driving through the now brown, leafless mountains, even through the mountains at some points where man has conquered the impassable peaks with their machines. Winding my Dodge Journey along the West Virginia roads, wishing the wild flowers along route 19 we’re in full bloom. I dodged in and out of the holiday traffic in Pittsburgh, over the big blue bridge that always says to me you are two thirds of the way along. I reminisced through the old steel mill towns of Pennsylvania who’s skies are now all but absent of greenhouse gasses. I rolled into my home state of New York under cover of starless, cloudy, dark fall skies that reminded me why I choose to live where the sun almost always shines, and the stars almost never hide. All through the journey wherever possible I tried to keep my mind on things that I was grateful for in this life.
The thing that always comes to mind first is my family; my brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, great nieces, great-nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, you get the idea. These are some of the things that make it hard to reverse the journey when it is time to leave. I thought a lot about my dog, and how much I miss him, and how I never intended it to be this long before he was back with me. I thought about friends new and old, and also the now absent friends who were taken well before I was ready to see them go. I thought about how blessed I am to be as healthy as I am, after abusing my vessel for so long. I thought about how lucky I am to be on the verge of an entirely new life, in a new place, and how blessed I am for having people that care for me there. I thought about my new job and how much more fulfilling it is than the old one, and how grateful I am that someone would take a chance on someone with absolutely no experience doing what I do, and less than a year later being able to manage my own crew and do it well. I also spent some time thinking about the future, and the things that I am grateful for that I have yet to receive. As the trip went on I spent a lot of time thinking about all the small things that I am blessed with; a place to stay, enough food to eat, the peace I have gained in my mind, the books I read, the music I hear, the art I see others and myself create, and a million other things that go through your mind as you’re staring between two lines.
Somewhere along the journey, I think around the middle of West Virginia after I stopped to gas up and wished about the wild flowers. I began to think about the things that are truly important in this world. Things like peace between us all, treating each other as one, the lives of all beings and the meaning of lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu. I started to realize that all of the stuff I was thinking in the beginning of the journey means nothing without this planet that we live on. Without Earth none of the things that we are all grateful for even exist. I decided to become more aware of that in everything that i do. We all seem to get distracted by things that are important also, but nevertheless much smaller than the health of the planet that we live on. We can divide the land, and make the laws, and elect people with agendas, but all of that means nothing because without the planet that we live on, we do not exist. It is very clear that we have hurt Mother Earth terribly in the short time that we have inhabited her land. In this coming year I hope that we can all learn to be more grateful for the one thing that makes all the other things we are grateful for possible. Please help, And next time you go to the voting booth thinking about electing someone because of their stance on this or that, please make sure you keep in mind the one stance that matters and be certain it is in alignment with the small stuff.
Peace love and light to you all, and Happy Thanksgiving!