Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gratitude


I’ll be honest with you. I’ve had a rough autumn. Health issues left me battling chronic fatigue for a couple months. After six weeks of napping alot and working a little, one day I just knew I had to get out and move. In the fresh air. Even if my legs still felt draggy and leaden.

So I started with a 30-minute walk in Carkeek Park near my home in Seattle, shuffling along the leaf-strewn trails. A couple days later I went for 45 minutes. I didn’t feel much better, but I sure didn’t feel worse.

Over the next few weeks the debilitating fatigue gradually started to abate as I increased the pace and distance of my walks. I’m still not 100 percent. But my gut faith in the restorative power of fresh air and exercise out in nature is strong.

One day while walking through the forest, I remembered an article I’d read about the health benefits of keeping a gratitude journal, such as fewer and less severe colds. So I decided to give it a try. For starters, I’m grateful for my morning shower—hot, steamy, and cleansing. And for a soft clean towel when I step out. Many people in the world don’t have that simple luxury.

Once I got started, my mind ran like crazy. I’m grateful for flannel sheets, the raspberries and blueberries that I pick with my niece every summer, the scent of daphne in the spring, shooting stars, a good laugh, good books, good films, good friends, family, pumpkin spice cupcakes, avalanche lilies, the spiraling song of a Swainson’s thrush, persimmons, being raised and living in such a beautiful region...I could go on and on. So could you, no doubt.

So during this holiday season and beyond, may we all be grateful and have fewer colds. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

9 comments:

Niece said...

As the lucky niece that gets to pick berries with you I am also quite thankful, especially now when I get to make yummy smoothies every night. Of course thankful for rainy days with thick books and hot tea, family gatherings, and the fact that UW is getting a new coach!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Jill! So glad you are on the mend and getting out and about. Some snowshoeing will help you in the winter months. A steady pace with many breaks as the various lovely winter birds lite on branches nearby. I invite you now, and hope to see you when the snow is deep and the sun bright above.
-C

kathy said...

I am thankful for balsamic vinegar, because the beans amandine that I made for this afternoon's feast are SO bland, I was embarrassed to bring them. Thanks to balsamic vinegar, I can present my perked-up beans with an absence of out-and-out humiliation.

(My family has a lot of accomplished cooks. For this I am also thankful?)

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful for two young dogs that force me to get out each and every day for a walk in the woods near my house. Seattle-ites are lucky to have so many nice outdoor escapes close to home.
-Lisa

ciao!bella said...

I'm thankful for being one blissfully fortunate friend that has experienced a few of these places with you. Knowing that the bakery with a line out the door every weekend morning (Besalu) is a place you frequent regularly. Remembering the time I picked raspberries with you, realizing the venture was a part of your life each season as sure as maple leaves turn golden and crimson in the fall.

Folks, I can tell you this much for sure: Each post is a bona-fide account of an intrepid, life-loving local whose passion for this mossy wonderland eventually winds up here. And this is just the beginning.

Each jaunt, no matter how many times visited before, is explored with new eyes and an oh-so-holy curiosity that makes it new every time. I know, because I've had the great pleasure of witnessing this for many years now. Sorry J! I'm totally sounding like a blog ad. Ah well...

I'm just thankful for knowing someone who has shown me how to love Seattle and its diverse local and nearby treasures even more every day. It's eight on Saturday morning. Now I'm craving Besalu... going to call to see if you're up for a warm ginger biscuit and a steaming cup of tea. Hot, black coffee for me. 'Cause "baby it's coooold outside!"

ciao!bella said...

I'm thankful for being one blissfully fortunate friend that has experienced a few of these places with you. Knowing that the bakery with a line out the door every weekend morning (Besalu) is a place you frequent regularly. Remembering the time I picked raspberries with you, realizing the venture was a part of your life each season as sure as maple leaves turn golden and crimson in the fall.

Folks, I can tell you this much for sure: Each post is a bona-fide account of an intrepid, life-loving local whose passion for this mossy wonderland eventually winds up here. And this is just the beginning.

Each jaunt, no matter how many times visited before, is explored with new eyes and an oh-so-holy curiosity that makes it new every time. I know, because I've had the great pleasure of witnessing this for many years now. Sorry J! I'm totally sounding like a blog ad. Ah well...

I'm just thankful for knowing someone who has shown me how to love Seattle and its diverse local and nearby treasures even more every day. It's eight on Saturday morning. Now I'm craving Besalu... going to call to see if you're up for a warm ginger biscuit and a steaming cup of tea. Hot, black coffee for me. 'Cause "baby it's coooold outside!"

Anne said...

I am thankful that despite your illness we were able to salvage a simple yet fun Thanksgiving lunch? dinner? with turkey sandwiches and hot gravy and at least some of the fixins....and also for the pumpkin chocolate chip cake you brought, just had a few bites of it. Yum Yum. Also driving through the Palouse yesterday morning, (when I was still happy and in a good mood) I was thankful to once again see this drop dead beautiful corner of our state and reflected on how many different ecosystems we are fortunate enough to host.

Suezy Proctor said...

You are dauntless and tenacious. You don't just go the mile, you go the extra mile every time. I am thankful you found a way to overcome physical adversity and a way to turn it into a something greater for the greater good of all. Your blog is nothing short of sensational. I am thankful for your friendship and your beautiful example of living out a life with inspired intention.

jill said...

Suezy, thank you for the beautiful comment! I'm awed and flattered and feel equally inspired and grateful for your friendship!