Be Glad You Exist

Samhain                                                            Thanksgiving Moon

Thankful.  Grateful.  Still here.

Yes, that’s the  prerequisite to all that follows, my living presence to write these words. And, yes, damn it, I’m grateful to be alive.

When I visited Constanta, Romania a year and a half ago, I went there as a pilgrimage to the place of Ovid’s exile.  This is a city that has Roman (Romania!) roots.  Outside an excellent museum of Roman and Greek antiquities (it was a Greek trading port first.), there was a collection of grave markers.  On one of them was this line:  Be Glad You Exist.  That’s what I would call ur-gratitude.  Thankfulness for living.

It’s where I’ll start.  Beyond consciousness and good health in my own case I’m thankful for the same in Kate, the dogs, family, friends and even a few others.  Our home.  Our buddies and colleagues the bees, the soil and the plants which grow in it, those past and those to come.  The orchard and the trees in our woods.  All the critters, sleeping and active that call it home.

Extending all that in a generally cosmic direction, I am grateful for the physics that allow us to exist at all, the sun for its energy, the planet for its hospitable climate (sorry about that hot pack, Gaia) and the North American continent for its wildness and its cities and towns.  Yes, the suburbs, too.  Even Andover.

Language.  English.  Being able to communicate with each other, even through such a flawed and miraculous medium.  What would life be without language?  Western medicine.  Often maligned, but my fav.  Western civilization.  Also often maligned, but mine and yours.  At least most of you who read this.  And just as worthy a human artifice as anyone else’s.

Of course the internet.  Cyberspace.  What a wonder to an old man raised with bakelite phones, 6 digit phone numbers, a time before tv.  So much.  So much to say thank you for. More than can be expressed in any list, no matter how long.

How about, for example, oxygen?  Or the properties of water?  We are made of stardust, animated elements spun out so long ago at the birth not of our nation, not of our planet, not of our solar system, not of our galaxy, but of our universe.  And now they walk, talk, consider their origin.  How damned amazing is that?

So.  Thanks.


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