When I came down to the writing space yesterday morning, there was a small light already illuminating the room. I’d left the 7-day votive burning from the day before. Usually I light it for the writing time and then blow it out when I’m done, but that morning I shut the case on the computer when I’d finished typing and I hustled upstairs to let Sophie out, to get the day going. I’d moved the candle to the mantle behind me, next to my postcards and pictures, the bulletin board loaded with bits of paper, right in front of the prayer flags — everything flammable at the very least. As I stood there in the doorway, looking at the small flame making circles on the mantle, on the ceiling, I felt deeply grateful that it, that I, hadn’t burned the room, the house. I walked over, moved the candle from the mantle to my desk — even after burning for 24 hours, I could still pick up the top of the glass with my hand and move it to the desktop — and then I sat in my rocking chair for a few minutes and said some thanks.
Things could have gone differently and they didn’t and I am grateful. I just say thanks, as much as I remember to do it, all day long. Not because I think anyone’s listening, but because it shifts my presence in the world, my sense of being. Nothing is granted, nothing is a given. Everything could be different. So I say thanks for the cup of tea, thanks for the clothes I can wear, thanks for the fact of the hummingbird coming to check out the new feeder, thanks for the sunset.