Inspired by all my friends documenting “Three things they’re thankful for,”  I will be joining my list-making friends, writing short posts this month focusing on three moments of gratitude in 500 words or less.  Feel free to share the journey, in list or story form.  #gratitude

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My friends count their blessings in late night status updates and then tag others in this viral spread of gratitude.

Lists are good

for groceries,

goal setting,

recipes, to-do’s, and errands.

Maybe even gratitude.

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Today’s Gratitude List:

  1. Horses against golden fields at summer’s end
  2. The last bloom: black-eyed Susan and orange cosmos
  3. Burmese boys playing in the fountain

Sometimes a list can’t describe a moment of time when we capture an image in our mind and become aware of blessing and goodness: The red fountain of sunset. The way she laughs. How it feels to heal. Small moments when we are suddenly alive to truth: He withholds no good thing.

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So the list becomes story.

Gratitude remembered.

This moment.

The Story behind the Gratitude List

I put aside the to-do list, still undone, and head to a friend’s stable and visit Holly, the gentle quarter horse, and her friends, JC and Cheyenne. The stable is hot, but the horses playfully neigh, then look us over and deem us friends, reaching out their peach fuzz noses to sniff our hands. They teach us quiet and stillness in the late evening sun.

A friendly cat named Mr. Coconut (who, ironically, is really a Mrs.) rubs against our legs, sharing her adventures with my daughter like a gossipy friend. A small, short haired dog greets us with bulging eyes and a collar that reads “Butt’s Up?” in rhinestones. He begs for a ride in our van, while the cat wanders back to the barn and the horses cluster in the pasture, dusty and hot, with the backdrop of golden sun dancing on the top of hay fields.

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We slip away from the farm and head to the food truck for seared duck tacos and potatoes drenched in spicy sauce where we stage an impromptu picnic. We lick our fingers and sweep the potatoes in the last of the sauce, before we head to the park and wander around the flower gardens where Burmese boys jump in the fountains, wearing tennis shoes and shorts. There is laughter and water flying before they tear away on their bikes, fully drenched.

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The end of summer. The flowers give their last showy performance and we take it all in, downshifting, so we don’t hurry past their final number. My expectations, the hurried attitude are long forgotten at home.

All we can see is beauty and stillness and joy at summer’s end.

Sara

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