Today, as I sit at my desk writing, I stop to look out of the window. A Robin is perched on the fence. I have noticed that he always waits for the other birds to go before he gets his own food from the bird feeder outside my window. He is silent and patient. No fuss, just waiting.
There is a beautiful Blue Tit on the nut hanger chipping away at the nuts, slowly but surely. The Robin is sat watching him. Calmly taking in his surroundings. Happy to just be and wait for his turn.
On the other side of the garden in a much quieter corner there are four Goldfinches. All looking very splendid with their vibrant colours showing against the cold, grey sky. They visit most days. Eating slowly and looking around as they digest their food.
I think that all of the birds which visit our garden are thankful for the food which is readily available for them. The Goldfinches are more fussy than the other birds as they will not eat if their feeder is too near to the house. They will also not eat from it if other birds have dropped any bits of food nearby. I clean their feeder often as they like it neat and tidy before showing an interest. They have their standards and expect the best.
As humans we have varying standards too. Some of us are happy just to be alive and see beauty in the little things. Others are much more demanding, and never seem to be happy with their lot. Thankfully I fall into the first category. I have always been able to see the beauty in the little things. Thankful for each day, and what it brings. Knowing how fragile life can be, and grateful for the bountiful beauty which nature bestows upon us.
It is so important to be thankful, because if we aren’t then plenty would never be enough. We would always be searching for more and not seeing the beauty of now.
In this ever busy world where schedules are often made, and goals routinely set, we always seem to be looking forward. But to be truly grateful we need to firstly look at and thank our past. Because even if the things which it taught us were terrible, we still learned valuable lessons from it.Then we also need to be more aware of today and what we are doing now.
Before starting to write this post I sat eating a bowl of hot tomato soup which I had made for my lunch. It was rich and tangy. Soothing my soul with its heat. For many years I would have eaten it at my desk as I wrote. But now I know better. Now I know that I must experience the little things like enjoying my lunch without looking at my computer screen as I eat. Really tasting the flavours and enjoying every mouthful. By doing so I am thankful for those little things. When someone asks me what I had for lunch I can actually remember. Because I really savoured every mouthful. Because I took the time to be thankful or it.
The Robin often sits on my fence looking and waiting. As he does he looks around at his surroundings and seems to take in all of the sights and sounds of the garden. He doesn’t ever try to force the other birds out of the way, and if another bird jumps the queue then he still sits, waiting silently.
I am thankful that I can feed these beautiful birds each day. Knowing that I am making their lives a little easier by doing so. Knowing that they get good quality food and a place of relative safety in which to enjoy it.
If we aren’t thankful then we miss so much each day. This week I had a hospital appointment. As I waited to see the specialist a younger lady was brought into the clinic from an ambulance. She looked in excruciating pain as she grimaced with every move. An elderly lady next to her asked if she was ok? She smiled at her and nodded. Telling her that she was thankful that she was in less pain than a few weeks ago. That she was thankful that she would see her children tonight, and watch their happy faces over dinner.
The elderly lady seemed surprised that she was thankful. The younger lady told her that she was usually so busy running around after her boss and her family that she often didn’t see the things which were right in front of her. That her accident had made her slow down and to take it all in.
How, despite the pain, she was now enjoying this unexpected change in her life. How she hadn’t noticed that her children had grown several inches, or had changed their taste in books or fashion since she last took the time to sit with them for longer than a few minutes. That she was so thankful for this opportunity to really take stock of her life and everyone in it. So much so that she had decided to look for a new job which would afford her more time to spend with her children and husband.
Before being wheeled into the doctor she smiled and said that ‘Everyone should be thankful, because if they don’t they will never know what they are missing’.
What have you missed already today?