Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Ringo sprained his ankle on Sunday, so the walks have been super short to give him some rest. Because we couldn’t go far, we went one morning to the CSU Trial Gardens and looked at all the flowers. I had never heard of Moon Carrot, or Hopflower Oregano!
2. Practice. This week was hard. There was grief, heightened anxiety, a dog recovering from a wonky belly and then walking with a limp, so much tenderness and effort, and when I look out the window, real and figurative, there’s so much chaos, so much violence, so much suffering. In Buddhist philosophy, the teaching is that when we practice, we soften towards ourselves and this in turn softens us towards others which makes us feel connected, beholden, not so alone. This can be difficult, for all kinds of reasons, but when I put my effort towards loving as much as I can, as many as I can, as often as I can, on not giving up, it gets easier — soft enough to open, strong enough to stay. 3. “Here we are stretched between grief and grace.” A friend of mine wrote this line and it feels so right to me, here at the end of the world in the middle of nowhere. Every kindness right now breaks my heart, so tender and raw. It’s like hello and goodbye all in one, simultaneously full and empty.

4. Our garden. It’s not a great moment in time to have complex ptsd. My hypervigilance is off the charts. One thing that helps is to look close, notice, pay attention to the small things that are still working — the bugs and the blooms in particular. Today we got our first cucumbers.

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

Image by Eric

5. My tiny family. Hopefully Ringo is on the mend after a rough week. Eric got to go on an adventure, climbed Longs Peak. He ran into a herd of elk on the way up, while it was still dark enough that he almost didn’t see them. I was very happy he made it home safe, that it was fun for him, that he’s strong and healthy enough to do such a thing. We promised each other at the start of all the shut downs and sheltering in place that we’d be extra nice to each other, not fight, because we knew things were about to get difficult, and I’m happy to report we’ve kept that promise.

Longs Peak, elk herd, image by Eric

Sunrise on Longs Peak, image by Eric

Bonus joy: kitchen counter love notes, yard time, Rainier cherries, Beyond Burgers, coleslaw, rain (we are in a stretch of 90+ degree weather, so every time it rains, we are grateful for the cool and hydration), good TV (I watched the third season of Marcella and Chris Fairbanks’ new special Rescue Cactus), good books (finishing up the final book in the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, and I think I’m going to have to read everything else she’s written), good podcasts (I’ve been enjoying Mike Birbiglia’s new one, Working it Out), writing, yoga with Jamie on Sunday mornings, clean sheets, texting with my mom and brother, seeing Chelsey and Jon and Liz (all of whom said how much they love our neighborhood), good neighbors, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.

2 thoughts on “Gratitude Friday

  1. Karen Shilad

    Hi Jill. I used to love science fiction. I have mostly given up on fiction in general after a months long episode of depression directly triggered by reading A Fine Balance many years ago. I have been reading your raves about the Broken Earth Trilogy. I have googled and googled on violence and trigger warnings for the trilogy but nothing comes up. Can you give me some idea of the level of violence in these books? In particular, any kind of torture or cruelty? I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much.

    Sending metta to you, Karen

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Karen, based on your question, I think I’d recommend NOT reading this book. It is about a world in crisis where different factions are at war with each other, and children are some of the primary characters. ❤


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