Saturday, 26 February 2011

Gratitude: The Quality Of Being Thank-Full.

What is it that happens to us when Spring arrives? What is it? Does our heart stretch out it's tender wings, flutter them tentatively in the warming air, do we pause and take a breath? Do we raise our heads in wonder, suddenly aware that Winter's teeth no longer snap at our heels?


We have had a busy, muddy week of no Jay, no school and lots of friends. Wonderful, thoughtful friends, who took us up mountains and on adventures, took us into their homes and fed us, (even though it sometimes feels to me that we arrive like an small invading country!), aware of our lack of Jay again and eager to be of help, dear ones that they are.


And although the first few days of the midterm break were soggy downpour sorts of days, all we really noticed were the carpet of purple crocuses in a corner of the garden, the sudden green tips on the rosebushes outside the open window that seemed to nod in a giddy, skittish way at us, and most of all the air and the light! Oh most wondrous light!


We spent our days traipsing and tramping, splashing through mud and puddles, or gathered around tables and sharing food together. We laughed and talked and deepened our bonds. And I watched, my heart swelling with quiet joy, as our dearlings, both big and small, forged their own, without knowing and without pretense. Their openhearted offerings of friendship to one another a reassuring inspiration.


Lately I find myself thinking about gratitude, thinking about the act of thankfulness and how it is manifested each day in our lives, or not. Of how we need to remind ourselves to be grateful, to be Full of Thanks, and that really, to live a life that embodies this would be a life truly worth living. It is an attainment I hope for and aim for, and need daily reminders for.
I no longer sit and meditate. I haven't for years. The daily rush of family life took over and it slipped quietly away. But in recent years I found a new way, a way that fit into the little slivers of time I found. Living each day with a knowledge that I would be writing about it here, on Milkmoon, has created a little sitting buddha in my head, a mindfully aware little buddha who gently prods me, reminds me to pause and take note. To be thankful. Even when, like any practice, it is a struggle, as it has been of late.


But then you, dear readers, in your own way, you are reminding me too. We are all prompting and prodding one another each day when we blog, sharing our individual moments of gratitude, putting it out there. And just today I read dear Rima's latest post which is on this very subject, which left me wondering just what this blogging we are all doing is creating for the future? An exciting and blog-affirming thought!


And so, this sunny morning I sit at my table with a pot of coffee, the window open, the quiet house just beginning to stir, and I think back through my week and how this little family's thread danced and crisscrossed and wove with so many others, and how the threads here in the Forest of Blog also weave together into another, different layer in my life, and how both will continue to do so, on and on and on, into who knows where.
And I am filled with gratitude, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Thank You.

22 comments:

Mimi said...

Ciara, your words are most beautiful.
I am grateful that I found your blog, I really mean that.
And, this week, as I've searched within myself for something "worthwhile" to blog about, and not found it, I realise I have found it here.
Thank you so much, I definitely needed to be visiting here today.
Glad you had a good mid-term break, love your photos.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

lovely shots.

Love the wellies!

Shorty said...

I loved your post today, and the pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for the gentle reminder of being thankful!

swedishouse said...

Hej Ciara
Beautiful images as always...
I am thankful for your post.
Your writing is so beautiful, simple & pure and from the heart.
My mediation practice fell by the wayside a looong time ago, but like you...a walk in the forest, laughter of your children, seeing a new bud on the tree, is soo good for the soul...and all of a sudden your filled as you say with gratitude and thankfulness.
And YES what is it and why do we do this blogging lark...
Again I think you are so right...
The blogging world is all about growing community and these little prods & prompting...enrich us and help as grow...
I know in my darkest days, my blog has kept me sane.
I'm thankful each day...
Thank you Ciara
You have just inspired me ;-)
LOVE PEACE enJOY gratitude
Julie
x

Su said...

I try to feel grateful as often as possible.
Life is short.
We are lucky to have children, friends and be loved.
I've just started a new blog, as a new chapter in my life.
I don't know yet where it will lead me, but I take your words & pix with me, during my new journey :)
Have a lovely week-end in your beautiful wicklow mountains, Ciara.
xo
Su
http://susimply.blogspot.com

Susan said...

Very nice post, Ciara. How enlightening it is to have a heart fill with gratitude. Your photographs are unparalleled in their intense beauty. Like you, I love to write and photograph images and am grateful to be able to do this. It keeps the creative side of me alive. Hope you have a glorious Saturday! Susan

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely post.
I was in London this week and actually met up with two blogging friends. It was wonderful. Strange and amazing this world of blogging.

Ellen said...

Thank you Ciara for the gentle, beautiful words of gratitude you shared. I am calmed by your blog every time I read a post. A smile, a tender touch at the photos you share of your family. Awe and wishing to someday see the sights where you live.

Blogging, to blog, has me wondering of what it means. I don't 'twitter', I do enjoy 'facebook' but ultimately I enjoy longer passages of thoughts and to read rather than glance. Blogging like a good book that one opens, only I can't feel the pages only the thoughts that bloggers share openly.

I would like to climb the tower you photographed. To look out from the top and see the distance from all around. It reminded me of visiting San Gimignano and how being there after the tourist of the day had left, to wander and wonder what life was like so long ago.

I am grateful for you and your blogging...and let us all be grateful for the birth of Springtime.

Sadhbh said...

How beautiful the light is in this post. Both in the photos and in your words. xx

Kato said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. It made me grateful for YOU, because your Spring has not yet arrived in my neck of the woods. Winter is still very much in season.

But your post made me see that spring is on it's way!

Martin H. said...

One of the most rewarding aspects of blogging, is the insight it offers, to the lives of others, those people who live their moments and share them. That's why I enjoy coming to Milkmoon.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

At the end of each yoga class we are reminded to thank ourselves for taking the time to nourish ourselves. Give Gratitude for being able to take the time for the practice. Although it is only a spit out of my week, I know that no matter how small an offering you give to yourself, you in turn are giving it to all around you as well. I thank you for giving me glimpses into life in your lovely land. Some may think blogging as a pointless effort but I believe it really does knit us all together to make the world smaller and full of kindred spirits...We each meditate on love and life in so many ways...Cheers!

☼Illuminary☼ said...

some times it's just like dancing with God..
creating and unfolding...
Thanks C, this sparkled in my day...

Rose said...

Reading your blog is therapeutic. I hope every single comment encourages you to keep writing! You must be a lovely person. :)

Jamie Kalvestran said...

Lovely post! Thank you.

jaboopee said...

milkmoon is the photo album of your life ...and you very kindly let us get to have a nosy at it....it's lovely to come here and live vicariously for those little moments of accentuating the positive.....Thank YOU ciara, thank YOU .

Catherine said...

Lovely lyrical post Ciara - I love your photos and you really captured the joy of youth with the children playing in the hills, puddles and park! Isn't it great to see spring in the air? I blogged about it the other day too - about the things I saw going around on my working day. Thanks for sharing!
Catherine

FP said...

Your blog is interesting, has left a great impression.
Best wishes
Jonas

Paddy said...

Always a delight to read, quite apart from the amazing photos.

In My Eyes said...

Ma'am Ciara,

Your blogs are like food to my soul..
Thanks for sharing your gift...
God bless...

acornmoon said...

Such a beautiful landscape in which to wander.

underthebigbluesky said...

"a little sitting buddha in my head, a mindfully aware little buddha who gently prods me, reminds me to pause and take note'

this may be one of the best things i've read in a long time.

welcome spring!!

jen.