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If the only prayer you said in your life was Thank You, that would suffice. (Meister Eckhart)

I, like most people, tend to give notice to all the P.I.T.A. (Pain In The A$$) parts of life without even thinking about it. They’re there, and they prompt an emotional response, which – like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I droolingly provide.

I’ve been retraining myself to make it less ‘work,’ and more instinctive to recognize the moments of grace or kindness or joy in my life when they happen. To give them the same or better billing that the P.I.T.A. moments get. So far, it’s working.

Those P.I.T.A. moments are always going to be there. They’re a constant. To be human is to suffer, and that’s just life. But to be human is to also experience extraordinary moments of joy or clarity or beauty or love.

This was originally going to be a post thanking the myriad folks who’ve done me a solid somehow over the course of my life. And I started to make the list. But what I noticed was that the things I remembered best, and wanted to thank them for were all the intangibles, all the small things. Sure, I’m grateful for all the things that people have done for me or given to my physically, but more, it’s the acts of kindness, the small gestures, the smiles, the laughter, that have stayed with me.

I am grateful today for everything that has ever happened. I am grateful today for all that’s been said (and not said), for all that was done (and not done). It has brought me to the very place I stand today, and it’s a good place to be.

Wishing all of you the kind of peace that comes from liking where you are, and knowing that everything that happened was meant to get you there.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Today, the blogosphere proliferates with odes to mothers. I’ve never been much of a joiner, or a follower of the pack, but I felt inspired to follow suit.

Mom,

Thank you for making clothes for my dolls,

For remembering that I like chocolate better than anything,

For supplying me with supper when I’m hungry and won’t ask.

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Thank you for the beautiful ivory quilt you were making for you, but gave to me when I told you how much I liked it (I truly wasn’t angling for it),

For ferrying me to Girl Scouts and CCD, to babysitting gigs and jobs, to friends’ houses,

For loving me anyway when I was thirteen and so angry with you and the world,

For worrying about whether I’m paying attention to the things that need attending.

~~~~~~~

Thank you for helping me to grow a compassionate heart,

For letting me know that it was okay to question everything,

For helping me question everything, even when it made you afraid for me.

~~~~~~~

Thank you for always believing in me, in my writing, in my spark,

For putting aside the common sense that comes so easily to you, and supporting my mad dreams anyway,

For letting me quit eating meat when I was ten and I begged and begged.

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Thank you for every little thing that you’ve ever done (I noticed),

For telling me you love me,

For making sure that no matter how things were going in our home, I knew I was loved and wanted,

For wearing holey shoes so that our growing feet could have new ones.

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Thank you for every night you spent pacing the floor with me, a colicky baby,

For watching me walk across the stage when I graduated college,

For not complaining (too much) when I pressed you into service helping me with the crafty parts of projects,

For finally acknowledging that my taste is not your taste (you hit the jackpot with the scarves on my last birthday – so glad you went with your gut, and bought for me “what you would never have bought for yourself.”)

~~~~~~~~~

Thank you for all the lunches you made for us, and the little notes and drawings you’d pop into them occasionally,

For making sure that we were fed, and clean, and healthy,

For reading to me, and imbuing me with a love of stories,

For listening to the drivel that I’d write when I was a teenager, and the papers I wrote in college.

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Thank you for showing me that it is good to make things with your hands,

For giving me the knowledge that we create our own lives,

For letting me create mine, even when it didn’t seem to jive with what you’d hoped for me.

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Thank you for your face – when I look in the mirror, I see me, and all the women who’ve come before me,

For drawing the lines we should not cross, and giving us deep moral natures,

For having philosophical discussions with me in the garage – winter or summer,

For surrendering and showing me how.

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Thank you for showing up every day, even when you were tired, and boneweary, and wanted rest,

For flying to my defense when I faced Goliaths,

For calling me on all the things I thought I could get away with,

For being patient.

~~~~~~~~~

Thank you for every mistake that you made, and for the knowledge that I can make them, too,

For being brave, and fragile, and human,

For every hug,

For every treat on every holiday.

~~~~~~~~~

Thank you, Mom, for everything.

Thank you for everything

Everything

Everything

You ever did.

I noticed.

Come have a look through my kaleidoscope eyes. Come walk with me, as I make my way down the Path of Mastery (complete with fits and starts and pitstops and potholes). Our very impermanence is what makes us burn so brightly, and struggle so valiantly, and feel so deeply – it’s what makes us seize the day, and the moment. Come in, settle in, share a moment with me.

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"Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, "I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then." (Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 5)