I want to give “thanks,” today, but don’t want to offer it the Norman-Rockwell, “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” way of the holidays. Instead, I want to share how grateful I am for such taken-for-granted “gifts” that I am only beginning to realize most of us have been given.
The first would be my breath and the fact that I can inhale and exhale to my heart’s content (pun intended). I breathe well despite the onslaught of allergies as I grew older and the years of cigarettes I smoked while younger. I’m grateful nothing impedes the passageways and that I can breathe freely.
I can feel the coarseness and the softness that touches me, be it from a raging storm outside, or the light breeze of air-conditioning on a sweltering day inside. I feel warm when making contact with another body or even an object. Try it. Notice how your feet feel warmer when they make contact with the floor. Focus now on the buttocks and thighs as they “touch” the inanimate chair giving them support. Is there the slightest of breezes on the exposed skin? Try to feel the air as it makes contact and “caresses” the hands, the neck, the face.
Let me give thanks for the sense of touch that allows me to perceive this contrast. I’m grateful I’ve had no accident or injuries that would prevent me from experiencing such moment-to-moment stimulus.
I never truly appreciated the taste of coffee until serving in the military. Ask any veteran about this. Once you’ve been forced to drink Army coffee, you cherish civilian-brewed java. There is nothing quite like the first two sips of good coffee in the morning.
Unless you want to focus on another gift to give thanks for, and that is the smell of the coffee brewing, particularly on a morning you’re off from work and someone surprises you with a fresh pot. What is it about coffee “scenting” that makes you want to hit-the-ground-running once the brain senses it?
There is something special about colognes and perfumes that create such an amorous feeling in me. Let’s not forget how prayerful and humble I feel when someone burns incense and the olfactory gland reminds me of worshiping in a church or temple.
Despite losing some hearing – being exposed to too much Rock & Roll and/or artillery fire while much younger and serving in Vietnam – I am grateful I can still hear children at play. I can listen to both Beethoven and Doo Wop and appreciate what the composers and performers offer in their music. I’m grateful I can hear you whisper “I love you” perhaps the sweetest sound a man and a woman ever voiced to one another.
Lastly, for still being able to see, I want to thank my lucky stars. (Would you prefer the Greek gods instead?) Yes, I’ll need the help of spectacles, and I know it will only be a matter of time before a cataract develops. But I can look you in the eye and see how much you are just like me and how little difference there really is.
That’s a lot to give thanks for today, and I’m glad I can feel grateful to you.