Gratitude: from Aspens to Zen


The gratitude list is hardly a new concept, but several friends have taken it to another level, attempting to find reasons to be grateful for every letter of the alphabet. I decided to try that myself.

It certainly wasn’t easy. I mean, am I really grateful for x-rays and xylophones? And I wouldn’t allow myself to use the names of family and friends. Felt like cheating.

But the exercise was so worthwhile, eye opening.

Here’s what I came up with.

Aspens (sound in the wind, color in the fall) … Apples (red, crisp) …Anything mentionable is manageable.

Beatitudes (The)…Birds…BurgersAspens

Classic rock…(the) Color of sunrise and sunset…Coaching

Deer at dusk…Drives in the country with my wife…Disco music (1970s style)

Eckhart Tolle…Exhaustion after a long hike…Eagles (band and bird)

Football (college, TCU) …Fatherhood…Full moons

Guitars…Grills…Grizzlies

Hockey…Hope…High school kids

I’m proud of you…Ice cream…Italy

John le Carre (favorite author)…Jesus wept (favorite scripture verse)…Jesus (especially with children, lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes and smashing stuff in the temple.)John le Carre

Kate Atkinson (second favorite author)…Kindness (random acts of)…Kindred (spirits)

Loved Starved Dogs (my classic rock cover band) … Laughter…(a) Loving mystery at the heart of the universe that yearns to be expressed—Fred Rogers' definition of God.

Memories (particular of the evening my wife and I spent in Genoa at the home of Onur Teke and his wonderful family)... Mountains…Marriage

Naps…Nuns (who live in the Vietnamese Zen monastery we discovered near Fort Worth)…Nurses

Oceans…Overtime in hockey games…Omelettes

Pudding…Patience…Paintings

Rain…Resilience…Reading

Smiles…Silence…Stories

Thunder…Tears…Tacos

Understanding…Umbrellas…Unbowed (my head is bloody, but)Guitars, Loved Starved Dogs

Venice…(the Vulnerability and grace of President George W. Bush at his father's funeral...Volunteers (especially for CASA of Tarrant County.)

Waterfalls…Walks (especially my daily five-mile trek through Trinity Park)…Writing (or at least having written.)

X-rays…Xylophones…Xoxo (okay, I’m stumped by the x)

Yellow…Yes…Yowza (not technically a word, but still)

Zen…Zoos…Zebras

And your list?

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