By Erica Leibrandt
At this moment, I am in my favorite state of mind; gratitude.
Granted, I am on vacation, which makes this a less-heroic achievement than feeling gratitude, say, when someone backs their car up over your foot (no that’s never happened to me, but I’m always afraid that it will).
But even so, when I’m grateful, I’m grateful.
To celebrate, I have composed the following list and offer it with gladness in my heart, in the hope that it may spark a bit of gratitude in yours as well.
1. The wind in the palm tree outside my door, which sounds like a bride dancing in a dress made of layered silk and crinoline.
2. The nice cashier at Trader Joe’s who asked me if I found everything okay and actually wanted to hear the answer.
4. Language, which allows me to articulate gratitude.
6. The whiskers on my dog’s nose which tickle me when he gives kisses.
7. Brake lights, or I might have gotten into a bad accident today.
8. Running water.
10. All spices, especially ones I haven’t tried yet but which will one day electrify my tastebuds when I discover them.
11. My son saying, “Hey mom. You wanna hang out?”
12. My husband saying, “I already emptied the dishwasher.”
13. The dishwasher.
15. Memories and dreams.
16. My mom’s house in Maine where there are wild turkeys, Pileated Woodpeckers, pointed firs, moose and more.
17. My heart, which I can feel beating.
18. The bike ride I took today, even though it was on a rusty old jalopy two sizes too small.
19. Being a woman.
20. Not being a woman in her 20s.
21. Music that makes me cry.
22. Movies that make me laugh.
23. Conversations that make me think.
25. Melatonin when I can’t sleep.
26. The smell of lavender.
27. Salt and vinegar potato chips.
28. Swiss chocolate.
29. That little burbling sound that chickens make as they root around their nests.
30. Being tall, because it gives me a better view.
31. Old photographs.
32. Family trees.
33. Family reunions.
34. My big feet, because they help me balance in yoga.
35. Olive oil.
36. Good bread.
37. Olive oil on good bread.
38. The moment when I wake up and realize it was just a nightmare.
39. Clean sheets.
40. Fourth grade teachers.
41. Yoga teachers.
42. Being a yoga teacher.
43. Triangle pose.
44. The number 44, which has been my lucky number since I was, I don’t know… 4.
45. The color green.
46. Air travel.
48. Dog sitters.
49. Sea shells
50. Texting, because I have a inexplicable fear of speaking on the phone.
51. Regional accents.
52. Empire waists.
53. The smell of rice cooking.
54. Love letters.
55. Mung beans, and how fun it is to say, “mung beans”.
58. Belgium beer.
59. Big windows.
60. Old buildings.
62. Punctual people.
62. Cotton clothes.
64. Dental floss.
65. My dentist, who winces when he hurts me.
66. My back injury, because not being able to move for a while motivated me to start writing again.
67. My crow’s feet, because they are evidence of laughter.
68. Robin’s egg blue.
69. The block of sunlight on my floor right now.
70. Lip gloss.
72. The ceramic tiles my sister makes and sometimes gives me so I can hang them on my wall.
73. That I have two whole months before Christmas.
75. The Yoga Sutras.
76. The full moon.
77. Farmer’s markets.
78. People from countries other than my own.
81. Home made roasted pumpkin seeds.
82. My children’s faces when they come home to visit.
83. My past.
84. The present.
86. Cook books.
89. My students when they say “namaste”.
90. That none of the jobs I do require shoes.
91. Or suits.
92. Or being in a cubicle with florescent lighting.
93. That I get to do what I love.
94. That I get to live with people I love.
95. That I am loved.
97. Blue skies.
98. Cloudy skies.
99. Envelopes and stamps.
100. This life of mine.