The rain began softly at around four this morning. I woke up and listened to it falling on the roof.; I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else except where I was — under a warm comforter, my dog snoring lightly at the foot of the bed. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, the day when attention typically turns from gratitude to shopping. I thought about what a friend of mine said when I called to wish him Happy Thanksgiving.
“The thing is,” he said, “we mark this one day as the day to be grateful, but gratitude should really be something we lead with every day.”
Very true. I do think it’s important, though, to have a day in which gratitude is the top priority. I’m hoping I can hang onto that rope and let it pull me through the coming weeks, months, years. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, I saw some of the best and worst in people. Two families dumped their dogs at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter. It’s because a friend was there getting her dog a new license that we discovered these two little angels and pulled out all the stops trying to find them homes. Rosie the pug spent one frightened night in the pound before a woman who heard about her in my friend’s Yoga class went straight to the shelter and adopted her. Stella, a Maltese mix, whose photo I posted on Facebook, found a loving home with a woman I’d only known on Facebook. She drove from the valley that day and adopted Stella. I am so grateful to the people who opened their hearts to animals who had been so cruelly abandoned.
I think part of being grateful is choosing to turn away from the cruelty of this world long enough to embrace and praise what is good and kind and generous. Compassion is out there, you just have to be willing to see it. It’s a life lesson that needs to spread out beyond one day.