Sunday gratitude, with sun and blue

lilacs in bloomI’m thankful for poetry month and thankful for the end of poetry month.

I’m thankful for the sun and the warm weather–and that now it’s light out by 6:00 a.m. I’m thankful for the birds singing.

I’m thankful for my family.

I’m thankful for a Saturday with many things to do and nowhere I really had to be. That meant almost three hours of whacking and weeding in the yard. That meant lemon almond biscuits. That meant submissions to six contests. And kale chips.

I’m thankful for a quick wine-tasting trip with Tom–a nice day to luxuriate, good wine, no rush.

But before we left I was having one of my melancholy Sundays today–gorgeous blue skies, sunny and warm, and I’m in my own blues. Which got me thinking about the nature of gratitude. I started this gratitude journal because of my recurring Sunday blues–a way to remind myself of the many things I’m thankful for. But it’s easy to be thankful for all the good things and kind of skip over the not so good. This morning, I realized that part of gratitude is being thankful even when the good stuff isn’t write-it-down obvious. It’s out there.

This day. This life. Spring.

And I’m thankful for all the blooming–especially right now the lilacs.

Here’s a poem I wrote years ago–recalling some other lilacs even more years ago. And the photo is of that better-year bush. It’s flowering now.


The Garden of Waiting


In a land before you, I lived
beneath the gauze of hot mornings, heavy air.
Lilacs filled my open window,

their thick scent stitching sorry
with the dizzy hope that comes
from trying not to look down.

A breeze paused at the screen.
I wove words into a close hedge,
held a great space inside.

You looked through the garden of waiting,
spied me behind the hardened limbs
caught, without a language for help.

In a better year, a kinder climate,
I sent for a bare root in the mail,
wanting to share the pale cascade,

the heady smell of summer.
I dug out a space on the shadowed south side,
planted the shrub too close to a bully laurel.

Without enough sun, it grows leggy,
bears only leaves. I’ll wager on greenery,
place no faith in the absence of purple blooms.