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If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

~Meister Eckhart

Thank you, thanks-giving, thanking, thanks… What the heck is a “thank” anyhow?*

I’d like to imagine a tangible (and sniffable) “thank” would look something like this.  Chickadee thinks that a “thank” might look like a big, fat, fluffy white cloud floating in the blue sky…or a fuzzy pink and purple ball.  Sharkbait thinks that a “thank” comes on a stick and tastes like chocolate milk.

A “thank” from nature, I think, looks something like this:

Thanksgiving is generally touted as a day to give thanks for the things we are thankful for, whatever they may be.  And that’s fantastic…giving thanks and recognizing our blessings, are (at least in my humble opinion) pretty darn important.  Heck, as days of thanksgiving (to a particular deity) are the basis for an incredibly huge chunk of Pagan holidays and the act of giving thanks (to a particular deity/pantheon) is a major part of Pagan religions, we should all be down with the idea of the ability and active participation of giving thanks to be a quintessentially Pagan value.

But I think that sometimes we can be ungracious (regardless of our religion or faith) in receiving thanks.  We forget to really hear the thanks that are directed our way–both the “thank you” that is explicitly stated, and the ones that are more subtle.  To put it bluntly, we wouldn’t know a “thank” if it was pink and fuzzy and tasted of chocolate milk on a stick and was handed to us on a silver platter.

The world around us creates a thousand thank yous, if only we know how and where and when to find them.  It is in the curve of a baby’s smooth cheek and the bright giggle of a squirmy preschooler wrapped in a fluffy towel after a beach afternoon.  It might be in a meal, or a book, from a grateful look, or a hug, or an audible “thank you”. Thanks are everywhere.

Just because we didn’t hear it in a form that we understood through our narrow filter of the world didn’t mean it wasn’t there.  Really look, and listen, and feel for a change.  Find the thanks that are all around us.

And perhaps in our finding of thanks, we can learn to create our own to share with others (even when we have nothing tangible or direct to thank them for), everywhere we go.  When was the last time someone thanked you just for being you?  For just being there?  Maybe you didn’t notice, because its not something that people usually say with words.

Imagine a world where everything that everyone created was a “thank”.  Imagine a world filled with heart-shaped lavender hand warmers, sea foam and white fluffy clouds, hope-filled pink and purple fluff, and (most importantly) chocolate milk on a stick.  Imagine a world where Thanksgiving wasn’t just a day, or a phrase, but was embedded in our every experience.

Now get off your keester and make it happen…handmade heart-shaped lavender hand warmers aren’t that hard to make.

If the only prayer you ever hear is a thank you, you have been blessed.  And if you didn’t hear it, maybe its because you were listening for mere words.


*(What a “thank” really is–or at least where it comes from, etymologically speaking.)