Shelter Against the Storm

It’s just after 6 AM on Monday morning. The house is peaceful and quiet. The pups are still sleeping and Georgia Bell, the tuxedo cat with the insatiable appetite, has not yet tapped on the window to place her order for breakfast.

Close at hand is a tall cup of our favorite coffee drink, a generous scoop of fresh ground Tim Horton poured over and steamed with a spoon of coconut oil, a shot of cream and a drop of blueberry honey. The sun is still below the mountain and the dark den is partially lit by the radar image swirling silently on the television screen as we write.

It occurs to us that under the vast maelstrom flooding southeastern Texas and parts of the Gulf coast today, one would be hard pressed to find any democrats or republicans. How quickly identity and ideology scatter in wind, dissolve in water or melt in fire, and where a week ago a cacophony of paradigms and opinions swirled in a perfect storm of dissonance, today there are only human beings, Americans, struggling to stay safe and dry.

A few short months ago our own perspectives became better informed when smoke and fire invaded our beautiful mountain valleys. We have not forgotten. And so we pause on this day, and every day, to be in gratitude, to be thankful for what we have, and grateful for what we can become; to cherish the people we love, and the memories of those whom we have loved and lost.

This is how we set the tone for the day, for the week, and for the rest of our lives. Biologist, Bruce Lipton said, “The picture you hold in your mind creates the behaviour and biology you express in life.” Thus by simple gratitude we improve our state of mind, which improves our health and well being.

When the current storm ends, some will discount the safety of dry ground in the real world and seek once again the elusive “safe space” of the victim, held unaccountable and above reproach in the world of the virtual. So many of us live in that world now, believing it to be real.  As the memory of the real storm recedes, the howling winds of words will begin to blow again, admonishing us to fear, to distrust and to hate. Such is the climate that drives the weather in that virtual world.

Gratitude shelters us against the storms of that world, and keeps us grounded in this one. If you’re out of practice, you can begin very simply. If you’re reading this in the newspaper or online, you can be grateful for the gift of sight. You have money to buy newspapers or pay your electric bill, and you have some amount of discretionary time. Chances are you’re reading this in the shelter of your own home, or you had transportation and fuel to carry you somewhere else. If you’re at work, you can be grateful for your job, and for a boss that isn’t looking over your shoulder.

Gratitude teaches us that every blessing stands on the shoulders of giants. Every advantage is connected to many others which made it possible. Simple gratitude is easy, uncomplicated, and powerful. It denies fear and resists anxiety. It reveals the real world and allows you to transform it.


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