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Here it is again November with Thanksgiving a week away and Christmas not far behind.

I’m always surprised at the wonder a day can bring if I watch it unfold with gratitude. An unexpected event, a kindness shared, or new person who opens their heart to me. It still has the power to amaze me after all these years. Anne Lamott puts it this way. “Gratitude tugs on our sleeves and says, “Wake up!” Look around at the kindness that surrounds us, the love we are being shown, the hope that now makes sense. Emily Dickinson wrote that “hope inspires the good to reveal itself,” and we can be taken aback by a sense of amazement at how much someone has shared with us, or even sacrificed, for us, for cranky, secretive, mealy-mouthed you, and me.

I think gratitude is one of our most attractive and wonderful emotions. It’s the shaking of our head in quiet wonder at how much good is entwined in the ups and downs of our life. It surprises us with revelation of how enriched our life is because of someone’s love, simple acts of kindness, or help. The magic of gratitude is it connects us back to the life we were meant to live awakened and aware.

I like the feel of waking up and looking around me, to see in one moment the beauty of life that I rarely see. I like being hit in my heart with an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. I could feel it the other day at a memorial service of a young man. He died suddenly and way too young, but he had lived fully.  He had touched so many others in his short life. I was grateful to have met him and for him being my son’s friend. Gratitude came in a sigh of relief when my husband was told he was cancer free and doing well. The glorious feeling of being grateful arises when I look at my sons and grandchildren. Oh, I will be thankful this year as I have in years past on the day we set apart to say thanks, but truthfully, I love it when gratitude sneaks up on me a grabs me by my heart and says wake up!

Happy Thanksgiving!