The question, once asked,
lay heavy with uncertainty
about the answers it might bring.
Yet they came quickly and willingly
the nine-fold response
painting a clear picture,
defined in large, bold, brush strokes
as love and faith in action
and a recognition
that we are all blessed
if only we take the time to look.
Sometimes though, gratitude appears
as a benevolent mugger
catching us unawares,
instead of taking from us.
But mostly, gratitude is found
when we choose to seek her out,
our upturned faces taking time to recognise
her quiet and gentle presence
in the radiant glory of the morning,
a brief moment during the day or
the velvet stillness of the night.
quiet introspection, prayer
and honest examination
we see her shape and features.
But the most vivid colours
of the artists palettes
appear in the finer detail.
No longer an abstract painting
or identikit, it becomes a true likeness,
a portrait that we all recognise –
walks on a wide golden beach,
safe landing at the airport,
a movie to watch,
All five senses
alive to the abundance
of the riches around us.
Swimming in the river,
a good book to read,
a hot steaming bath,
the warming energy of sunshine,
or perhaps a cosy chair
in front of a glowing winter fire.
Good education, modern medicine,
the sound of children playing,
red kites gliding overhead,
the smell of the earth after rain
or wild garlic in the woods.
Writing songs, stories and poetry,
knitting (and finishing) a scarf,
the first sign of seedlings,
a fine supper prepared
from random leftovers.
Fashioning clay and wood,
their textures and smells
enriching the experience,
deepening the satisfaction
of creating something
where once there was
What is gratitude I asked,
both curious and uncertain,
and in reply you painted a portrait
I asked nine friends to tell me what gratitude means to them. Some work a twelve-step programme, others follow in the way of Jesus, some do both and others neither. This this poem weaves together their many answers – definitions of gratitude, how to be more aware of it and the things they are grateful for. Many thanks to all of them for so willingly sharing their ideas and experiences.
2 thoughts on “What is Gratitude?”
This is beautiful! Thanks Ollie. I love reading what brings other people that sense of gratitude, but this is also just a really artistic piece in itself. Skills! Thanks again 🙂
Thanks – I’ve had a couple of really interesting conversations with contributors too. Its great that everybody I contacted saw it as an important part of the way they choose to live.