Yesterday, on Thanksgiving Sunday, Joe and I went to a movie. We are having a house full today and we will feast to our fill, so yesterday we ventured out to do a few chores and then catch a flick. When the movie was over we went to the elevator and waited for it to arrive. When it did, three times, it was packed full. Then on the fourth go there was one man on it. He was tall and thin and stood in the middle of the elevator holding on to his walker. When he saw Joe he began to move aside but when I came into view he moved back to the center and said, "There's not enough room." I asked him to move just a bit to one side or the other. He angrily stated that "There's not enough room." His face set in anger. We didn't desire an argument so we let him go down alone.
Maybe it was just in the spirit of the season but my anger and annoyance at his attitude and behaviour turned suddenly into a spirit of thankfulness. Gratefulness.
I am thankful for those who willingly share space with me, I don't notice them often, maybe only when in the presence of someone who doesn't. Those people who willingly move to the side, or without even noticing create a little more space for my chair. For those who see others as worthy of sharing time and space, I am grateful.
I am thankful for those who live their lives in good humour. The angry set on the man's face, as the elevator door closed, told me that he spends most of his time angered. But there are those who greet me, who greet others, with great good spirits, with laughter and with warmth. For those who live with laughter on their lips, I am grateful.
I am thankful for those who speak to me, and to others, with gentleness. I believe that the welcome in the heart warms the soul of words. I have, at times of weakness, needed to be wrapped in the warmth of words. They say that at the big moments of life, when we experience loss, or disappointment, or rejection, that there 'are no words.' But the words don't matter, it's how they are fuelled with love and with warmth and with kindness. When that happens, every word is the right word. For those who speak with warmth and welcome, I am grateful.
I am thankful for those who's automatic response to the world they live in is kindness. I am speaking of the everyday kindness, the goodness not thought of as goodness but as decency. I am speaking of those who don't actively do 'random acts of kindness' but instead live with kindness in their heart and their heart at the centre of their mind. For those who live kindly, in a world that rushes by, I am grateful.
I am thankful, really thankful, for the people in my life, who fill my life, who provide for me a sense of belonging and of purpose. I am thankful, eternally thankful, for those who have blessed me with time and with welcome, those who are now gone but still present in my heart, who's words still comfort me. I am thankful, really thankful, for now, right now, for this moment and every moment thereafter that comes - the future will be and the past once was but it is 'now' that I own ... and right now my heart is full of thanksgiving.