Yes, I want to live my life surrounded by silence, solitude and simplicity, but not as an end in itself. The end, as I see it now, is gratitude; the means are silence, solitude and simplicity. I’m a long way off from living gratitude, but it’s an idea that keeps coming to me and one that from time to time I experience in my everyday life.
How to start? By remembering to be grateful for the little things that happen. Just today I’m grateful that my flights were on time and hassle free, that the ATM machine worked at the airport, that the sun was out in Oban, that I have made it with ease to Iona. Of course I blew it with a mild complaint that I had to empty my water bottle before going through security. Why fuss about the little things that don’t go my way?
For a few years I’ve been playing around with the idea of living a life of gratitude. It started with my mom’s last words nine days before she died at age 101. “Very grateful,” was how she viewed her life. Recently the Word of the Day from Gratefulness.org. was by the Peace Pilgrim:
If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.
What would happen if I just thought gratitude? The possibilities are mind boggling, no, more than that, they could be world changing. How can I be negative if I think gratitude? If I walk around thinking gratitude I’ll be looking and acting positively, I’ll be putting out positive energy. I think it would matter in the universe; maybe just a little, but it would matter. What if more and more people lived a life of gratitude? Then, maybe it would matter big. I think of Peace Pilgrim; I know she made a difference.