I’ve heard gratitude is an attitude. Being a glass half-full kind of person, I believe that’s generally true. But sometimes it feels more like the flood waters from a burst levee and you find yourself suddenly engulfed.
That happened to Tom and me yesterday. The flood waters of gratitude are more like the Sea of Galilee than the tragic debacle of a New Orleans drowned in 2005 by the breaches of Hurricane Katrina. The waters of gratitude are buoyant. They lift you up.
Tom came into the kitchen earlier than usual yesterday morning. I was doodling around, emptying the dishwasher, drinking Komodo Dragon coffee, and listening to Will Patton read James Lee Burke’s latest, the fantastic Wayfaring Stranger. When Tom spun me around for a hug and a morning kiss, my instant inventory of flashing eyes, bright smile, and waves of energy told me he had his groove back.
This Wednesday we’ll drive back to Jacksonville for his third R-Benda cycle, so he’ll get knocked down again for a few days, but a day like yesterday will carry a person through from point of light to point of light, false dawn to true sunrise.
We live in a pine forest. Our home is in a clearing surrounded by the woods. Pretty darned incredible paradise. Yesterday’s weather looked iffy and I wanted to mow the clearing in case it rained later in the day. If we left it to grow until we returned from Mayo next Saturday, with the August heat and humidity, the grass would be halfway to my knees. So after breakfast, newly wise from my recent poison ivy experience, I put on a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, socks and jogging shoes, gloves and a Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm hat, and headed out to crank up the little John Deere.
The morning wasn’t too hot. There was even a little breeze. Vigilant mocking birds kept an eye on me and a resident hawk waggled his wings overhead. About an hour later I was in the back when a movement caught my eye. It was Tom, on the ancient 60 hp Case tractor, tipping his Tilley hat and blowing me a kiss! He was bush-hogging the area between yard grass and woods where we sow wheat, oats and rye every fall for the deer, wild turkeys and migratory birds.
Two hours later we were done: dirty, sweaty and happy. After lunch and a shower, Tom rested in the bedroom with the latest book he’s reading, waiting for the usual afternoon “slump.” I spent some time writing and then went to the kitchen to start dinner.
He bounded into the kitchen, smiling. “All day, no slump! I expected it, but it didn’t come. The work outside felt good. There’s a lesson in that,” he said.
Our supper, coincidentally, was roast turkey breast, baked sweet potatoes, green peas and cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving in August.