“Fill yourself with gratitude for everyone who helped to put the food on your plate.” That was the cue for a guided meditation I followed awhile back.
If you think about everyone involved in this effort, whether it be simply a local grower or a faraway provider, your heart can swell with deep appreciation. The gift of the actual growing or raising or preparing is then multiplied by the folks providing the seeds, the water, any packaging or transportation, anyone involved with other ingredients, their parents and so on.
It is mindblowing to contemplate.
If we add to our servings of gratitude all of the other wonders of being alive–the sunshine, nature’s creations that cross our path, the music that I hear as I write this…..Well! We can fill ourselves to overflowing with gratitude.
This particular meditation came blazing back to me this morning after we viewed the film “Unbroken” last night (based on the book of the same name) about the true story of triumph by the astoundingly powerful spirit of Louie Zamperini. Not only did he survive 47 days in a lifeboat after his plane crashed in the Pacific during World War II, but also he then endured unspeakable torture as a prisoner of war in Japan, with his amazing integrity and indomitability intact.
This morning, in the wake of witnessing such an extraordinary story, my routine of rising from a comfy bed, pouring clean water from the tap, heating it for tea, peeling fresh fruit, made my breakfast seem nothing short of miraculous. Which, indeed, it was.
As has been the rest of this glorious spring day. Because the serving on my “plate” today has been filled with so much priceless sustenance–sunshine, water to drink and food to eat, birds chirping their happy melodies, the freedom to come and go as I please and all of the people who have made this possible….The list goes on.
While I actively cultivate a practice of gratitude, I must confess that seeing “Unbroken” has brought me up short. Observing Zamperini’s incredible fortitude and heart in action in the face of extreme and ongoing deprivation, pain, terror inspire me to step up my gratitude “game.” Hoping that I will recognize for a very, very long time the big “helpings” I have been served by so many.
And hoping that my gratitude spurs me to ever greater heights of generosity and courage.