It is time to be grateful, not for “things,” but for “times.”

bird bathing on body of water

I got up late this morning, and getting up late often makes me feel a little bad, not guilty, just that slump you get from regret. Regret for missing the early-morning quiet, the beauty of a cool low sun, the undisturbed time to read, and the lovely chorus of the birds.

The great thing in this moment of regret was a revelation that occurred to me. Did you notice how, in my musing over early mornings, I never talked about “things”? I never mentioned any material objects, no big house, no boat, nothing money can buy. What is most valuable in those early-morning meditations is not things but time, time to enjoy beauty and quiet.

This revelation has led me to think about and evaluate what it is I should really value and be grateful for. It’s not “things,” it’s “times.” I should be valuing times that I have experienced and times I can experience.

What’s even more enlightening is that many of those “times” I should be valuing require no “things” at all. To enjoy an early-morning birdsong requires nothing other than me and the birds. I don’t have to purchase anything or go anywhere special.

During this week, Thanksgiving week in the US, ponder the times you have had. Think of all the joys, sorrows, heights, and depths you’ve been granted in them. Aren’t you grateful? Does it really matter whether you have “things” friends or neighbors have? Think what you have. You have times, times no one else has ever had or will have. Be grateful.

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