If you don’t write it down on a pretty slip of paper and put it in a jar
does it still count?
If it’s not penned in a Moleskin journal with your name embossed on the cover
or expressed to one friend
or a million
does it still count?
What if you just feel it and experience it with Her?
Just you and Nature?
And you don’t tell anyone because She already knows
that you feel it
and know it
and live it
and you let it wash over you
because you’re strong enough with a vulnerability so deep that you are on your knees
on a random walk with your dog
as you watch the mountains turn pink then purple as the sun lets go
and you listen to the coyote’s howl
and your dog points her paw to protect you
and you kneel with her as her heart races
and you listen and watch Nature
and feel Gratitude so deep there aren’t words
for the jars
or the journals
there are just the feelings right then in the moment
and the world stops as Gratitude surrounds you and She joins in
and sings with the coyotes
and dances with the setting sun
and welcomes the moon
and you don’t think about it
or even try
because Gratitude isn’t something you have to remember to feel
or write down
it’s just there
with every breath and every step you take.
And as you breathe the crisp air
and listen to the sounds
and absorb the magic colors of the skies
and feel your little dog’s heartbeat
you realize you no longer need the jar
or the journal
because Gratitude is part of every inhale and exhale.
And that realization brings tears to your eyes as you recognize a level of Gratitude you never knew existed.
The kind you don’t have to think about.
The kind that one day you realize is simply there.
Part of you.
Just like your DNA
and your blue eyes.
and your blonde hair.
And then it rushes like a tidal wave and washes over you and you can barely stay upright
because you see
that the thing you’ve worked to obtain, to name and claim is no longer outside of you.
Gratitude is inside of you.
It is you.
It has become you.
And Ego doesn’t stand a chance and for once doesn’t try.
And then you get it.
As they howl
and her heart beats so fast in fear with her little paw pointed in protection
and you notice the dirt on your knees
and the sky surrounding you with love
and the smell of the sun and the moon
and the Hum so oddly industrial yet comforting
and you get it.
And somehow for that moment, it all makes sense.
And no, you don’t have to write it down.
It still counts.