Like many other American women (both young and old, I might add), I have a crush on Dr. Anthony Fauci. And now I’m wondering if this “older man” mild fixation is a new trend in my life because I just cannot get enough of listening to Brother David Steindl-Rast. Happy upcoming 94th birthday, Br. David.
I had included a link to one of Br. David’s meditations on gratefulness in my post Savoring the Good. And the Network for Grateful Living film “Blessings” (narrated by Br. David) inspired today’s post.
That six-minute film at its essence is a gratefulness prayer. Br. David offers up thanks to the source of all blessings for six aspects of life, several of which we may find unusual topics for which to hold gratitude: breath, humility, imprecision, memory, change, and departures. There’s a link to the video at the end of this post. Please take a few minutes to enjoy it.
In the memory segment, he says, “May I know what to forget and what to retain and treasure, keeping in mind the smallest kindness to me, and spreading its ripples for a long time to come.”
Let those words wash over you for a moment.
The “smallest kindness” phrase carved a niche in my heart because sometimes I feel as though my thanksgiving prayers have become rote; I offer thanks for my life, my family and friends, my home, my church, the community in which I live.
You know, the big five blessings.
Our attention is naturally slanted to the big because that’s what the world pushes. Bigger must be better, right? Huge houses and cars/trucks. Restaurant meals each large enough to feed several people. Designer walk-in closets the size of a motel room. Online influencers who brag of their copious number of followers. Mega churches who boast of 10,000 – 47,000 in attendance pre-pandemic.
So I asked myself, how would I go about being thankful for small things?
Source of all blessings, may we be reminded of the beauty of smallness. Symphonies are a joy to the ear, and equally so is the faint inharmonic melody from a windchime. A photograph of a spectacular waterfall may fill our senses with awe, and yet a photo of a single raindrop waiting to fall from its resting place can bring forth a sense of calming inner peace. Let me be mindful and appreciative of smallness.
As I purposefully seek out small things to appreciate throughout my day, there are too many to list here. Tiny wild strawberries growing by the roadside. An itty-bitty appreciation card that a client included with her payment. A limb of just-blossoming plums that I needed to duck under while on a walk.
A little nose pressed to the screened window sniffing for chipmunks.
Source of all blessings, may we be reminded of the beauty of smallness.
PS – Thinking it was a typo (but then I read it twice), I realized I didn’t know the word stan, so I’m providing the definition: an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity. (The word is used in the Dr. Fauci article.)
A Grateful Day featuring Br. David. This is a remake of A Good Day, revised with video and natural sound vs. still photos. I watch them both back-to-back every morning. What a great start to each day!