A couple of days ago, the rain began — delightful soft drifty showers with a few heavier falls, especially at night. Temperatures dropped a little. It’s been bliss. It feels as though the big old trees and flowering shrubs and green lawns in the gardens of my retirement village have rejoiced, remembering again how to absorb the life-sustaining water.
Feelings of quiet peace and contentment led my morning writing in the direction of mindful gratitude today, as so often happens of late. And then I realised, suddenly, that aside from loving where I live, and enjoying the rain, there is another reason for my happiness — one I’ve rarely experienced in all of my 62 years: I am completely free of financial stress and worry and of yearning for what I don’t have.
The realisation makes me smile a lot, since I am living on a pension and have very few material assets. My wealth is mostly intangible and immeasurable — precious family and friends, knowing that my children are both thriving, the ability to still do many simple things that nourish my soul, a comfortable home in beautiful surroundings. Increasingly, I’m aware of a delicious sense of abundance permeating my life.
And this awareness leads me yet again to ponder the gifts that flow from deep acceptance, which itself is a profound gift that has arisen from my having had those incapacitating strokes.
If I were still capable of living an active life and fully engaging with the outside world, I’m sure I’d still be yearning for all sorts of things that money can buy: a car, travel, retreat time, tickets to theatre and ballet and concerts, dinner out with family and friends. And I’d still be working conscientiously to fulfil as many of those yearnings as I could afford.
But as it is, thanks to the ‘losses’ the strokes have delivered, I have received a gift that’s surely rare in our affluent society — my needs and wants are all fully met, without stress.
And what has arisen is a more or less perpetual, gentle state of gratitude and, often, wonderment.
soft rain filtering
light birdsong electric drill
and this too shall pass