Yesterday, after my husband and I woke to the sound of our children giggling in their bedroom, but before they came and crawled into bed with us, I turned to him and asked, “What are you thankful for?” He answered, “Pretty much the whole thing.” So there you go. Thank you, whole thing.
I guess if we had a church, it would be the Church of the Whole Thing.
And the more I think about it, the more I like it. The whole enchilada, the whole shebang. The thing that is beyond us, better than us, complete, with no holes. Or… maybe it does have holes, but it’s still whole, and something to be thankful for. Actually, of course it has holes, because the Church of the Whole Thing, quite clearly, would leave nothing out. It’s all in there, no matter how out there. It’s all included: the laughter and the crawling and the stumbling and the whines, and the sunlight climbing up the trees and the shadows appearing on the other side, and the relentless gnawing of rats on our roof beams or of longings on our hearts, and the way you expect me to be someone I’m not and the way you celebrate me when I’m the person I quite faultlessly am, and the fog drifting across the fields and the purple mist of shame that clouds my mind too many times, and the crowds amassed in rage in the streets of so many cities, and the officers puffing their chests or lowering their eyes, and the grass emerging from wind-parched soil and the walruses lowering their slick bodies onto spits of available land, and….
The light is falling now. Everything seems so awful. My fearful eyes at times want to look away, but when I pay attention I know that my heart really wants to shatter and blossom anew. The thing is, awful has the same effect as amazing. For when I open those same eyes in the morning — whether fearful or brave — and see everything as amazing — totally, unabashedly included and amazing — my heart wants to shatter and blossom, too. It’s just the same. Shatter and blossom. Shatter and blossom. I get to choose the route.
So there you go. I choose amazing. I sit on a pillow, pay attention, walk the earth, love my family, cry over darkness and confusion, speak and listen imperfectly, and choose to embrace the whole thing. It’s possible. And it’s amazing.
Thank you to my husband who opened a window yesterday to the fresh air of freedom and gratitude.
And thank you, thank you to the Whole Thing.