On Being Grateful for Gifts the Earth Gives Freely

image: jasontheaker“The earth is what we all have in common.” ~ Wendell Berry

The other day I stumbled on Timber Hawkeye and his message of embracing gratitude in our everyday lives. His message, while not new in the broad sense of things, resonated because of the quiet conviction with which he delivers it. One of his most powerful statements was about how it’s not about our beliefs, but ultimately, our behavior, that makes us a better person.

Since then, I’ve thought a lot about the role gratitude plays in my own life and the life of others. And while I believe Timber was focused mainly on our behavior towards one another (human to human), I couldn’t help but go beyond that. Why stop with just people? Why not other life forms on this beautiful planet of ours? Why not the Earth itself?

And so with that, I compiled a list of all those gifts that the Earth gives me — and every one of us — each day without giving pause for who we are, where we live, or what we believe. Gifts that She gives without prejudice, pride or any grand pronouncement. These are simple gifts that deserve profound gratitude from all of us.

  • Air to breathe
  • Water to quench the thirst of all living beings
  • Food to sustain our bodies and minds
  • Trees to build our abodes
  • Other flora to create our medicines
  • Metals to make our machines
  • Fuels to make our machines run
  • Breezes to cool our sweaty brows
  • Oceans to skip stones in (and the stones to glide across the water)
  • Mountains to climb and admire
  • Clouds to give our sunrises and sunsets a canvass in which to paint upon
  • Auroras that shimmer against the night sky
  • And so many more…

Shifting our perspective on Nature, and all that it does for us is a simple step we can take to help us see our world in a whole new way. A way that allows us to replace mindless consumption with gratitude and reverse our destructive behaviors towards the only planet we have. A way that allows us to make a lasting peace with the natural world and pave the way to a new age of sustained prosperity for all life.

What gifts of the Earth are you grateful for?

Be well,

image: jasontheaker

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3 Responses to “On Being Grateful for Gifts the Earth Gives Freely”
  1. trees, Trees, TREES

  2. Ah, Bill! Loved this post. Seems the earth keeps giving and giving, and we just keep taking and taking. Hopefully that will turn around soon, with the help of people like you. :) I think one of my favorite gifts from the earth I am grateful for is the mountains that provide us with absolute beauty as well as a natural way to stay healthy!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I think about this a lot, and the deeper I go into science, the more grateful I feel for getting to live on a planet where life is not only possible but also abundant, diverse, and surprising. Water is one of those things we don’t think about very often, but it turns out to be a seriously freaky molecule. Most substances become denser when they freeze; water becomes less dense, allowing life to continue under a crust of ice in the winter. Water’s adhesive and cohesive properties, ability to form solutions with most things, polarity…I can’t even imagine what life would look like without this core element in our cells and our environment. Thanks for this timely reminder, Bill!