Opt for Gratitude

Eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and Joe-Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum).

Gratitude is a choice, a state of heart and mind as clean and uncomplicated as a butterfly, or a sky-blue October day. It requires a shift from ruminating on the negative to touching all that is good about a particular moment. Gratitude is not Pollyannaism; one acknowledges that life is often difficult and sometimes unfair, but chooses to find and embrace joy and goodness anyway. 

A perfect October day in Minnesota.

Gratitude is unique to each of us and our circumstances at a specific point in time. As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I am grateful for nature’s endless beauty, a stranger’s warm greeting, the radiant smiles of my niece’s baby and preschooler, my husband’s tenderness and patience, our son’s thoughtful calls, my aging dad’s mostly positive attitude, the kindness of my siblings and friends, and the insights and laughter of the women in my spirituality group. What inspires gratitude in your heart?

Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).



5 thoughts on “Opt for Gratitude

  1. Enjoyed this post Beth! I am grateful for family, friends and especially my cousins! Grateful for the Monarchs and other nature in my yard, gardening and the joy of trying to do some kindness every day. Gratitude is a choice and giving is rewarding. I helped someone with her coat today at a medical imaging place and came to understand she could not get her coat on due to a shoulder injury. She had fallen and broken her shoulder while walking with her 101-year-old father. We chatted about the challenges of injuries and recovery. We both parted feeling more positive and grateful for the support of people around us. A nice reminder about being thankful, grateful and giving back.

  2. Dear Beth, I very much enjoyed reading your blog. I am a biologist, and have a question about one of your posts. Could you please drop me an email (I couldn’t find an address for you online)? Thank you very much in advance. Kind regards, Christian

  3. Don’t know exactly why this popped up in my inbox, today, but there it is. I am grateful for you, for your thoughtful presence and careful observance of the world, and for pointing it out to the rest of us when we’re too hurried to notice. I’m grateful for the light, ever so slowly gaining each day since the solstice 3 weeks ago. I’m grateful for blue skies that show up (rarely!) to remind me that the clouds don’t really have the last word. I’m grateful for a job that allows me to meet people throughout the journey of their lives. Thanks for inviting me to slow down long enough to respond to this!

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