Gratitude in the time of pandemic

Apr 19, 2020 | 20 comments

Some call is the power of prayer, or the law of attraction, or visualization, or the power of intention, or even, for you skeptics, the placebo effect. Call it what you will, there is little argument that positive attitudes yield positive results.

Expressing gratitude is a fundamental cornerstone of many philosophies.  Whether it is saying grace before meals, or lighting candles in church, or burning sage in an abalone shell, or lighting joss sticks in a temple, or simply meditating quietly, there are innumerable rituals that we do to touch the divine.

In this, the time of pandemic, many of us are frightened or frustrated that our lives have been interrupted through no fault of our own, and yet . . . and yet, we should be grateful for what we do have.

I am grateful that we now live in a beautiful country in which its leaders and politicians appear to actually care about its citizens, and have quickly imposed a variety of strict but timely and effective restrictions to mitigate the spread of this virus, rather than the endless bickering and ill-advised and late half-measures which have marked the responses of other governments.

I am grateful that I have this time to be alone with my spouse and my dogs, re-read some favorite books, practice the piano and yes, binge watch sappy TV series and movies.

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I am grateful that I have access to all this wonderful technology that allows me to keep connected to friends and family in other countries.

I am grateful that I have some true forever friends back in the U.S., here in Ecuador, in the Philippines, in Germany, Finland, Venezuela and Thailand. The Lakota nation in the US. The Quechua community in Ecuador.

Mainly, I consider myself to be incredibly lucky in my rich store of memories, some important, some merely small moments clearly imbedded in my being.  Cruising old growth timber in eastern Oregon on snowshoes and hearing my own heartbeat in the deep silence.  Snorkeling in the clear warm waters off Bermuda or Key West.  The sense of freedom skydiving. The pride of smokejumping or military service. A meadow lark’s song on a cold morning. The smell of sage after a rain. The hypnotic drumming of sundance ceremonies. The unconditional joy of a little kid’s hug, a baby’s laugh, a lover’s kiss.

No matter what disasters may befall me in the future, these good memories will always be a comfort to me and I’m so grateful for them.

Buddha stated, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die;  so, let us all be thankful.”

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