This has been long overdue. The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal are obvious and everywhere. For reasons I couldn’t even define, however, I have been avoiding it for years, (even though she and I regularly choose our highlight of the day.) Now the time has come to push myself over the edge of that particular cliff and fly. The idea is to seek one aspect of each day, about which I am grateful, and write about it in detail. The desire for detail comes from an idea I had many years ago: that even the slightest incident, gesture, thought or feeling contains a wealth of information.
My goal is that this search for gratitude will bring a greater focus to seeking out the positives, thus training my mind away from its more critical and demanding behaviour. Moreover, the experiment of writing in detail, may also make it possible to seek beauty and joy in the simplest of things. As I write, for example, there is the promise of rain in the air. The weather forecast says it won’t arrive yet, but just the extra breeze, the overcast sky, and the sense that something is about to happen is enough to ease the suffocation of the recent run of high temperatures.
Everything changes. It’s odd (but somehow logical) that although we know the good times will certainly end (whether it’s a party, an evening out, a holiday, or just a feeling of contentment and well-being), we are unable to apply the same rationalisation to the bad times. For some reason, they feel as though they will go on forever, as if it’s built into the experience: difficulties are more likely to appear insurmountable, whereas effortless joy cannot possible last, surely?
Therefore, I am grateful for the sun and the rain, and the way they play together, each adding to the other’s impact and beauty. The contrast makes it possible to appreciate them both simultaneously, as well as to have a sense of the full spectrum in between. (A rainbow, indeed.) They complement each other, and are clear beacons of the certainty that nothing lasts forever. That is the true gratitude for today: nothing lasts forever. Nothing can be held so tightly that it will always remain. Everything is to be enjoyed in that moment.