Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Post 16
Deerfield Village, MA

Now is the time for giving thanks. We are problem-solving, stimuli-hungry animals who lose track of the common and uncommon graces of our lives.

Somehow, for me, gardening slows down time. For after an hour or so of digging, smelling, placing, moving, something in me stills. Only then do I truly begin to feel, really feel, the sun massaging my shoulders or the fine texture of  grit on my fingers

It's easy to be so busy thinking/planning/solving that living, feeling unwanted, gets out of the way.

The word gratitude, comes from the Latin gratitudo and gratus. Which means thankful. It also means pleasing, as in pleasure...

Pleasure gets no respect. We suspect it because it can lead us astray. But it can also lead us right.

Part of adolescence is learning to extract pleasure from things we originally find repugnant. From booze to tobacco to movies without happy endings, we learn to overcome instinctive pleasure. How else can we be cool and grown-up? We learn to tolerate, even be proud of,  the deadening side effects of overiding our nature, and then wonder, years later, what's gone wrong.

Maturity, among so many other things, may be about shedding such roughshodding over pleasure.

Pleasure is easy.  It is everywhere. And much of it is innocent. It does not hurt you or anyone else. That is the pleasure to go for, to be grateful for.

According to the OED, the second meaning of gratitude is grace. Like the the grace of innocent pleasure, there for us when we want it.

So is the act of feeling pleasure, in an of itself, a type of gratitude? The answer seems both obvious and paradoxical.

The reason I've made a garden is because it gives me pleasure, a pleasure I learned about by experiencing other peoples' garden. I hope my garden passes on that pleasure. I hope this blog with its pictures does too. It is a way of saying thanks.

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