Ranger Kathryn's Arches

November 24, 2011

41 thankfulnesses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:43 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

If ever there were a holiday begging the use of the noun, “paean” — (don’t just read that unusual word, look it up!) — it is Thanksgiving. My all-time favorite holiday. One which begs us to pause, ditch the bad attitude, shake out the taking-for-granted, resolve to quit complaining for an hour or a day or a month, lay down our entitlement, see the blessings that just might take our breaths away if we but looked for them.

My children and parents top the list. I’ve missed them so while I’ve been out west, some moments feeling like a heart-burst is imminent. However, there are thousands of things we can be thankful for. As a spiritual discipline, I’ve been compiling an exceedingly arbitrary list of a few other blessings. I’d love to hear your own additions in the ‘comments’ section — on ANY day you read this, not just Thanksgiving.

  • spelling bees
  • the fresh honesty of young children
  • National Park quarters (American currency — new series)
  • jigsaw puzzles and the conversations shared over them
  • the look in a friend’s eyes when they feel deeply understood
  • soap
  • Aurora borealis
  • church bells pealing
  • National Geographic magazines
  • the fact that we can see so many colors
  • folks who go out of their way to be kind
  • melody, harmony, dissonance
  • fingernails as useful ends for our digits
  • the multiple ways one can stay in touch with far-away people
  • dark chocolate, oh yessirree…
  • zippers
  • Arts & Crafts architecture and furniture
  • healing after divorce
  • clouds’ amazing diversity and their entertaining shapes
  • silence
  • a bookshelf filled with classics
  • daring to hope against all odds
  • county fairs
  • really good hugs
  • accents — foreign and domestic
  • animal tracks
  • forgiveness received, forgiveness extended
  • seasons that smell different from each other
  • incisors
  • ‘Olive,’ my reliable car
  • handwritten letters, always from the heart
  • infrastructure
  • homemade bread, homegrown vegetables
  • young animals of every species
  • being okay with wrinkles and a flawed body
  • surprise visitors from afar
  • answered prayer
  • love poems, even (or especially) when you’re not in love
  • B&W photography
  • smiling contagiously just for the heck of it
  • pipe organs, cellos and French horns

Think outside the box: what are a couple of things your heart is grateful for?


  1. This is a wonderful list. I would add: The sweet smell of a grandbaby’s neck. The comfort of a down blanket on a cold night. Dinner cooked for me by my sweet husband when I get home from a long day at work. Language and how it can make me cry or laugh, sometimes at the same time. And coffee, my old friend.

    Comment by yearstricken — November 24, 2011 @ 8:01 am | Reply

    • Perhaps the theme of ‘comfort’ is strong in all of us. Love your comment about language.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 24, 2011 @ 10:39 am | Reply

  2. . . . campfires (pure magic), rain, a magnificent blizzard, flying in a glider, a small, swift sailboat in a high wind, skiing in fresh snow, the autumn woods after a rain, uninterrupted dialogs with someone more passionate and informed than me, a fresh (to me) philosophical discovery, that perfect choral performance when you and the audience are one, photos from the Hubble telescope, the Nimrod Variation from ‘Enigma’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUgoBb8m1eE), the face of a loved one, memories . . .

    Comment by Leroque — November 24, 2011 @ 10:07 am | Reply

    • I knew I was missing a few great ones. Shocked I am that I neglected STORMS.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 24, 2011 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  3. waking up snuggled down in a sleeping bag to an amazing sunrise, a warm bowl of soup after a day out in the cold, how sometimes when my cat is attacking my feet – as she often does – she’ll stop biting and start lovingly licking them, sunsets over the Henry’s, a good song on the radio that totally captures the mood, the look of awe first timers to Horseshoe Canyon have, unexpected calls from old friends, the tiny community I live in out here in the middle of nowhere, YOGA…and laughter…and a lot more. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Comment by lily — November 24, 2011 @ 10:36 am | Reply

    • Yes Yes Yes to every last one of them!

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 24, 2011 @ 10:38 am | Reply

  4. the sound of the water as rowboat oars glide through the water

    Comment by Kate Kresse — November 25, 2011 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

    • That is, to me, the essence of tranquility.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — November 26, 2011 @ 12:14 am | Reply

  5. . . . casting for bass in the silent early-morning fog . . . a loon calling across the water . . . a kiss . .

    Comment by Leroque — November 26, 2011 @ 7:04 am | Reply

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