This year, I was in Spain over Thanksgiving. With no turkey to baste and family to host, I had a lot of time to think about gratitude. The more I thought about gratitude, the more gratitude loomed large and commanding in every cliche — a remedy for misery, a requisite for happiness, a boast of the lucky, a penance for the pious, an attitude turned platitude. But when I just walked with gratitude a fluttering opened me up to something more … or less. Something more intuitive … less instructive. More visceral … less cerebral. More response than practice although it is that, too. Something so simple yet so intertwined with all the messiness and magnificence of living. Something, perhaps, like this — 

Gratitude is the expression of being fully alive

to  every joy, every sorrow

every moment of disappointment

every occasion of celebration

every temptation to disappear

every invitation to stay

every dread that takes your spirit away

every delight that dances you into a new day

every misery that shadows your fear

every muse that courts your fancy

every grievance that burdens your spirit

every pardon that releases your soul

every murmuring that cautions hesitation

every whispering that unfurls your wings

every plea to be loved

every prayer to love

every lamentation

every alleluia

of the wonderfully flawed —

all stories waiting to be told

from a throbbing heart

aching, breaking, bursting

in gratitude

for the fragile glory

of this being human.


~ Mary Byrne Hoffmann ~

November 25, 2018