the week three #instagratitude update

At the end of three weeks, I am starting, just starting, to see it. How the things I shot earlier show up again, and again. Over and over. Sometimes I take another picture. Sometimes I don’t. But I always say thank you.

Because that thing is still a gift.

Not just coffee today. Coffee everyday.

Not just baby smiles today. Smiles everyday.

Not just this meal. Every meal.

Not just this time at the park. Every time.

Always a gift, over and over.

By looking for it, naming it, photographing it, listing it, I see how those moments repeat and fill up each day.

There are less photos in the Instagram feed now, not because I’m finding fewer moments, but because I’m finding more.  Too many to capture.  Plus, it’d clog your feed and annoy you.

Ann Voskamp says it this way in 1,000 Gifts:

Something always comes to fill the empty spaces and this is what I’ve come to do with white space. I invite thanks.

If I do not fill the white space with thanks, I fill it with worry. That is the alternative, based on the circumstances of my life right now. A worry list is easy. A gratitude list is the remedy.  One list or another will fill the white space.

I have heard that anyone who worries already knows how to meditate. The process for both is the same; we turn things over in our mind, and then oven again.  Except one drains us and the other restores.  Perhaps that is what this is, a meditation. On gratitude.

I’ve been holding onto this quote for a long time now, because I feel my worry in my body.  In my shoulders.  My jaw.  My throat. My gut.  My old body is tired of worry.  It wants to sing.


I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

 “I Worried” by Mary Oliver, from Swan: Poems and Prose Poems. © Beacon Press, 2010.

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