Of Lovely Things (5)

So many good things to give thanks for… yet so many times when I’m rushing on so eagerly to the next thing that I want that I don’t properly appreciate what I’ve just been given. I’m not very good at being thankful. For the first section of prayer time at our prayer meetings, my pastor has been asking us to simply give thanks—no asking for anything, just giving thanks. It’s not as easy as it sounds!

More practice is needed–for this girl anyway–in appreciating good gifts. So… here are some lovely things of assorted shapes and sizes that I can give thanks for:

Laughter, loud and long, with friends and family last night—the sort of laughter that makes me double over and leaves me wiping away tears.

Baby smiles.

Steven Curtis Chapman’s song Glorious Unfolding“There’s so much of this story that’s still yet to unfold. And this is going to be a glorious unfolding.”  The best really is yet to be.

Food… lettuce leaves, pesto sauce, caramel, berries, cream cheese, lemon curd… so many textures and colours and flavours in the course of a single week. Food is amazing, when you come to think of it. And we get opportunities to eat the stuff multiple times every day. As gifts go, this is a very good one.

Poetry. Poetry has been on my mind rather a lot recently because of a project I’m working on for my degree. While I enjoy reading poems, it’s not something I’d normally think to be thankful for. But now that I think of it, I should be—thankful for the delight of rhythm and rhyme, of new ways of seeing, of beauty crammed into a small space.

Speaking of poetry, let me finish up with a truly lovely poem of Hopkins’ which I read for the first time not long ago and which left me amazed and delighted.

I hope it does the same for you.

SOMETIMES a lantern moves along the night,    

  That interests our eyes. And who goes there?

  I think; where from and bound, I wonder, where,         

With, all down darkness wide, his wading light?

 

Men go by me whom either beauty bright                  

  In mould or mind or what not else makes rare:               

  They rain against our much-thick and marsh air               

Rich beams, till death or distance buys them quite.         

 

Death or distance soon consumes them: wind  

  What most I may eye after, be in at the end             

I cannot, and out of sight is out of mind.               

 

Christ minds: Christ’s interest, what to avow or amend 

  There, éyes them, heart wánts, care haúnts, foot fóllows kínd,               

Their ránsom, théir rescue, ánd first, fást, last friénd.

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