“When we speak of these not as things or products or commodities, but as gifts, the whole relationship changes.” Says Robin Wall Kimmerer in The Serviceberry.
In the presence of such gifts, gratitude is the intuitive first response. The gratitude flows toward our plant elders and radiates to the rain, to the sunshine, to the improbability of bushes spangled with morsels of sweetness in a world that can be bitter.
Gratitude is so much more than a polite thank you. It is the thread that connects us in a deep relationship, simultaneously physical and spiritual, as our bodies are fed and spirits nourished by the sense of belonging, which is the most vital of foods. Gratitude creates a sense of abundance, the knowing that you have what you need.
Gratitude and abundance get mentioned often though they can mean many different things to different people, which isn’t inherently a problem. It is problematic when a term is so frequently used but not conveying the enormity of what it is meant to express.
We have been told over the last decade or two that having abundance and a change in outlook can change everything. More than having it we are supposed to be abundant. But the trick is to not trick ourselves into saying things that we don’t actually abide by.
And gratitude is an edict we cite though we rarely experience it. Awash in the trends of heightened competitive sensitivity and more economic and social precarity, it is challenging to feel levity.