I’m giving myself a challenge: in this week of Thanksgiving, I want to practice conscious gratitude. Awareness of the many joys of my life helps me feel grounded, and gives me strength. So here’s my plan for the week: choose a picture at random, share it here, and say something about the gratitude that surrounds it. My goal is to do this every day from now until Sunday. If you’d like to join me, please do – I’d love to see what you include on your blog, so link back to me if you decide to take part.
Eyes closed, I’m scrolling through photos randomly, clicking when it feels right.
Oh, this is a good one.
September 16, a bit more than a year ago: the day before my brother’s wedding. He married his bride at her family’s home in upstate New York, a lovely property with a pond and woods, and a house big enough to welcome friends and family but not so big that it felt anything other than bustling and happy.
I loved this wedding very, very much, both because it brought into my family a woman who I deeply admire and absolutely adore, and because seeing my brother filled with joy is a unique, heart-bursting experience, no matter how many times it happens.
I’ve been to a lot of weddings, and it turns out that – for the most part – my favorites are those in which there is at least some element of helping to prepare. That’s how my brother’s wedding was; we spent the day before the wedding running errands, gathering flowers, and setting up furniture. It was a time to give something to the couple that has brought every one of us so much. It was also a time to come together from the different parts of their lives to see a visual, personified representation of how their world has woven together to create something wholly new.
When I look at this picture in terms of gratitude, I wonder if I could capture everything that I think and feel. I am grateful to know my brother and sister-in-law; even more, I’m so very grateful to be a part of their family. I’m grateful that their wedding was how they wanted it, that it was full of beauty and reflection. I’m grateful that I got to contribute something to the ceremony; I was honored to be included. I’m grateful that people came to celebrate them. I’m grateful that the weather on their wedding day was just right.
I’m grateful, most of all, that my beloved brother has someone who loves him so much. That’s such a gift, to see the people we love be loved well by others. I’m so grateful for this picture, which reminds me of a day that I will always remember with such fondness: it is, really, a perfect way to start this week of giving thanks.