Gratitude in the darkness

Sadly, I’ve become one of those people for whom the holidays hurt. I guess I should feel lucky I have had almost thirty holiday seasons that were unmarred. Maybe reaching this point is inevitable? Maybe as we grow and learn more about people, more about ourselves, the uncomplicated becomes the complex. Maybe gratitude can be hard work. Maybe you know what I mean.

I am so thankful for my children, who help me to remember simply being. Being without anxiety or nerves or filters. I have such beautiful memories of the holidays, none of which involve mountains of presents. They all involve loving family and friends. What a gift.

I am going to share a poem with you, that is melancholy and maybe a little depressing, but I think it’s important. We don’t give thanks today because everything is good. We give thanks because we have been given, and forgiven, much. Much. We can be thankful in a dark world because darkness is not the end.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

by W. S. Merwin

2 thoughts on “Gratitude in the darkness

  1. Janice Hall says:

    I so enjoyed your interview on “Life Today”. You are delightful to watch and hear. I just wanted to tell you how I enjoyed/appreciated your story, your struggle, and your faith. God is as close as the mention of his name and you tell the story so well.
    God Bless You,

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