I’m sure I’m not the only one who has watched or read the news and said to themselves “Gee, I am so grateful for my life.” This idea of thankfulness doesn’t mean I have a perfect life. It just means that I choose to focus on all the positive aspects of it.
This ongoing pandemic is an ideal period of time to reflect on what makes you thankful. In my case the positive aspects outweigh the negative and, even if they didn’t, I find the best way to deal with adversity is to concentrate on the things that make me happiest; oftentimes the people in my life.
What Am I Thankful For?
Marcel Proust once said “Let us be thankful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom.” He is referring to the people who are constants in your life as well as those who meander in and out. All of these people are responsible for helping me to thrive, succeed and in general, blossom as a human being.
Of course as a gardener and garden writer I am attracted to the gardener reference in Proust’s quote. Another of his kinsmen (Proust was French), Alphonse Karr also made reference to gratitude and thankfulness when he stated “Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns: I’m thankful that thorns have roses.”
Again, Karr is encouraging us to look for the positive point of view. Yes, roses have sharp thorns, but a rose wouldn’t be a rose without the difficulty and potential pain it takes to get to this beauty.
Karr’s quote is much like saying “the glass is half full or half empty.” It encourages the pessimist to see things in a brighter light while also cautioning the optimist that no matter how hard one tries, the difficulties of life, in this case the thorns cannot be ignored either.
So what am I particularly thankful for this year? My family and friends are number one and without them I wouldn’t be the person I am for good or bad.
My garden comes in at a close second for things I am grateful for. When life is too chaotic and stressful I can rely on gardening to center me and allow me the time I need to mull over whatever calamity has befallen. The time I get in the garden to ruminate in peace allows me to regain some perspective and see that no matter what the current issue is, it too shall pass and in the meantime there is much to be grateful for.
So don’t take it from me, a simple gardener, but heed the words of these French countrymen, and thank your lucky stars for all the good in your life, including your garden.