Thursday, January 3, 2008

Breathe In the Air, Breathe Out the Gratitude, by Kathryn Magendie

A winter storm nears my mountain; a wind slams against the windows. I am snuggled inside, turn to watch the birds flocking to the feeders. It is newly 2008, and I will be joining Barbara and Nannette as we write our year of gratitude.

I think of days when I was hungry, when I didn’t have enough money to pay the bills, when I had to decide between having enough gas to get to work or going to the doctor, when I cried in the closet so no one would see me weakened by worry. Gratitude is harder when there seems little to be thankful for—except for the act of living and breathing and surviving. And now? I pay my bills, there is food in the pantry, I go to the doctor if I am sick and have the gas to get there and back. My closet holds clothes and shoes, not a sobbing woman.

Simply by the act of saying, “Thank you,” I am released from old demons. I am unchained from fear and worry. From the comfort of my couch where I am snuggled under a throw while the wild wind rushes over and across the mountain ridge, whips the bare branches, pushes against my log house, from this place of security I sigh as if an old dog on a porch and breathe out, “Thank you.” Does it matter who or what I give thanks to? No, it is only important that I breathe in the air and breathe out the gratitude. Breathe in, breathe out, in and out, in out.

A bright red cardinal looks in the window to me, I look out to it. I like to imagine it is chirping, “Thanks for the seed.” I mouth, “You are welcome.” He flies away, stomach full, I watch him, stomach full. I get up to open the door, feel the wind’s chilled blast. My face is cold, my back is warm, and all I have to do for comfort’s sake is to turn around. I turn, close the door against the wind, and smile.


Barbara Quinn said...

Ah, I can feel the chill and the warmth leaping from the page. Thanks for starting my day with gratitude.


Kathryn Magendie said...

*smiling* Thank you for reading and all the rest....

Nannette Croce said...

Yes, heat and gas and enough money to pay the bills is truly a blessing we don't always think about.

OnDaBayou said...

"My closet holds clothes and shoes, not a sobbing woman."

I'm grateful you are now the woman who unlocks that door and comes "outside," after a cardinal or for a friend.

Kathryn Magendie said...

*smiling wide*

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