All Things Great and Small

In the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, Nov 22nd. But we don’t have to wait for a special occasion to express gratitude. 

And though we live over a thousand miles apart, my sister and I share a practice. Each day before we rise we express thanks for all things—great and small—in our lives.

Evan, Luna Bleue, Kayley

“There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.” —Unknown

I’m grateful for family, especially the newest little bud on our family tree.

What are you grateful for?


80 thoughts on “All Things Great and Small

  1. Such a sweet and good practice!!! I’m thankful for the life I got in this period of time on the earth and all the thing that happens with me…I’m also thankful for the people I have in my life!!

  2. Do the same thing, especially after my surgery this fall. My first thoughts each morning is that I’m grateful for another day above ground!
    P.S. LOVE the picture!!!!

  3. That photo is worth a million!! There is so much to be thankful for. I also start the day by being thankful for at least 3 things. I have always loved this “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”- Desiderata
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  4. Love, love, love the picture. My 19 yo son became a dad this week. I know he’s scared out of his mind but he keeps showing up each day and my heart swells with gratitude each time I see him hold his newborn and walk through the fear 💙💙💙

  5. Oh my … those wee little feet between the two of yours! Makes my heart jump for joy!
    This year in the face of one family member in the midst of final stage cancer, another who has had spinal and hip surgery this last year, a sister who just had knee surgery, another sister who is still recovering from brain surgery last year and more, I am reminded never to take their life and presence nor my life for granted.
    I’m also grateful for the new, now great, nieces and nephews who arrived in recent and this year.
    I’m also grateful for my health so I can partake in all life offers!
    Grateful too for the internet which gives us a chance to connect and share (despite it’s shortcomings). In recent weeks, the internet provided a way for niece who lives with her husband and months old baby near a Thousand Oaks, CA, to tell us we are safe from the fire!
    Yes, so much to be grateful for this year!

    • Audrey — Your words of wisdom are oh-so true: “I am reminded never to take their life and presence nor my life for granted.” We have much to be grateful for, even when it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  6. Love that photo. I am eternally grateful that every day of my life I have woken up in a place where my immediate world is peaceful. With all the strife, wars, famine, disease, and terrorism around the world, to live in the US in the 2000s is about as good as it gets. I think we Americans tend to forget how lucky we are and take our peace and prosperity for granted.


    • Chris — I agree with you WHOLEheartedly. We have so, so, so much to be grateful for and many times we take it for granted. We oftentimes assume we’ll wake up to peace and prosperity in the morning.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family: a very special one this year with those tiny feet!

    I have always said my family is my biggest and most precious treasure and have always been thankful for having them. My health and that of those around me is the other thing I have valued above all else. Thank you, World!

  8. Love love love that photo! I am grateful for many things – for the ability to load up my furry girl and head to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving today, for being able to stay as long as I like if the weather gets winter, for breathing, for my daughter and my son, for friends, for a roof over my head and food on my table – and it goes on and on.

  9. Great ritual Laurie.

    I am grateful for the miracle of existence.

    As a biochemist and general systems geek the improbability of the existence of life in general and me in particular is something I am conscious of most days. In the face of all the many ways in which non existence is possible, we exist. That is something I am truly grateful for. Not grateful to anything or anyone for, just grateful for.

    The numerical complexity of existence is something I contemplate often, and I just looked up from my keyboard, looked out over our deck, over the tree tops, across the bay to the snow capped 9,200ft Mt Manukau all sparkling in the first rays of morning sunlight, and the stark beauty of the experience of being is with me also.

    Last week I spent 2 days (1 night) up in those mountains at the Hutton’s Shearwater colony at the head of the Kowhai river (went in and out via helicopter), and it was an awesome experience. We were burrowscoping to identify active burrows with eggs in them, mark them with stakes, so that we can go back in March and see how many have chicks. We marked 70 in the area above the research hut on the first day (another 57 in another colony about 1.5km further up the valley the next day). I woke shortly after midnight to the amazing sound of thousands of seabirds in the high mountains, got up and went out and just sat on a snow tussock in the middle of the colony for a couple of hours. I watched the birds flying overhead silhouetted against the stars, and felt others walking over my feet, oblivious to my existence as anything other than another bump in the landscape. It was just such an amazing experience, sitting up there listening to thousands of these birds flying in and out, and calling to each other, and thinking about their probable evolution. It seems very probable that their ancestors were nesting on the coast about 25 million years ago, when the Kaikoura orogeny started and the mountains started pushing skyward. They just kept going back to the same spot, but the spot was being push higher and higher, further from the ocean. So now they are a small seabird nesting in the high mountains. Amazing things.

    So much of life seems to be like that, level upon level of amazing and unlikely events that somehow managed to work in the particular contexts that they did.

    Such an amazing thing to be grateful for.

    • Ted — As I was reading your comment, when I got to the “went in and out via helicopter” part I stopped and read the whole thing to Len. Thanks to you, I now have a husband who is G-R-E-E-N. With envy, that is 🙂

  10. Such an adorable “photoe”. I’m thankful for each stressfree breathe my husband and I take. Oh, yes, and the joy Abby brings to our lives. Speaking of which, someone is in need of her pre-lunch walk.

  11. Happy Thanksgiving Laurie and all – just love, love love those feet!!!
    I have a similar gratitude ritual which I do with my Liangong 9 breath ritual at bedtime. I have been a gratitude slacker recently so I am booting back into my good practices right now!
    I am very grateful that finally after 4 years my damaged/regrowing spinal nerve has finally reached my feet – I am grateful for all the daily exercises that keep my muscles from atrophying and from falling down. Happy happy Healthy Healthy to all

  12. Congrats, Laurie! I am grateful that my kids are finally starting to consider putting some buds on the tree with in the next couple of years or so. Hopefully while I can still appreciate them.

  13. My world!!!!! How beautiful are those 6 totally pink “souls” & 30 perfectly formed toes without a blemish as captured here all together in this photograph! It’s enough to curl up my own toes to hide from any observance of my own, not to mention my fingernails forming now into a fist to hide those cuticles and broken ends! 🙂 Just thankful that I don’t need to seek out a manicurist any time soon because my hands will just be digging into the soil tomorrow! 🙂

  14. “For the beauty of the Earth, for the beauty of the skies. For the love which from our birth over and and around us lies. Lord of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.” The Invocational Hymn at last Sunday’s service and certainly one of my all time favorites! For every day that I draw breath, I am grateful!

  15. As you know we have a new little footprint maker in our family too–I should grab a photo like this–great idea. I am grateful for our small family of five now grown to 12 and a gender balance shift of four females and one male, to now four females and seven males. How did this happen? Little seeds planted one at a time!

  16. Laurie, I am thankful for having known great love in my life. It makes losses that much more difficult but I would never change the abundance of love to save me from the sorrow. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family on Thursday!

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