On Gratitude

“How is it you are so happy all the time?” the old man asked the Child.

“I stay steady even as the things around me, and within me, change.”

“What do you mean?”

“This,” said the Child.  And as he spoke, the Child swirled the winter winds into his hands and tossed them back into the sky as spring.  Flowers bloomed over the grass, like a river of color, birds banked turns around them, bees hummed through the sweet, earth-scented air.  And as this all turned round them, the old man overheard the Child whispering, “Thank you,” to each and everything he saw, heard, and felt.  In a few moments, the Child cupped spring in his hands, shook it a little, cast it into the air where it descended around them, landing as summer.  Fresh fruit hung heavily from the trees, fish jumped in the pond, cicadas droned, hidden in the lush, swaying trees.  And as the old man and the Child spun around in the field, laughing, the Child paused, looked deep into the world and said, “Thank you.”  And just as the old man was thinking of lulling in the summer sun, the Child swished his hands into the sky and turned the air as if it were water.  With a flourish, the Child spun the air to a stop and when it did, gold and red leaves whirled everywhere, sheaves of corn leaned against doorways, the smell of mulled cider scented the clouds, a clean, brisk chill flowed through them.  And as the two raced about trying to catch the falling leaves, the old man heard the Child stop and say,“Thank you.”  Finally, the Child wound the air back up and turned it out back into the moment, where snow was falling, draping their shoulders.  The Child looked up into the sky, snowflakes kissing his face, and said, “Thank you.”  And after he did these things, he looked to the old man and asked, “Now do you see?”

“Yes,” said the old man, “the way to remain happy is to remain steady in gratefulness, no matter the season.”

“No matter the season, no matter the feeling, no matter the day, no matter the circumstances, no matter anything.  Happiness is not a feeling so much as a way of living.  And that way of living is to give thanks in all things.”

And with that the old man and the Child walked, hand in hand, towards the blossoming horizon.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

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