I remember as a boy standing at the side of a gorge watching the swift, shallow water and a girl standing in it up to her knees. Everything was settled and at peace in the sunlight. As I watched the hills began to sing -- I could hear them as an indistinct choir. Then they began to shimmer and dance. It seemed clear that we were linked -- hills and humans -- in a deep, objective way. And this connection made life true, and my usual fears irrelevant.
Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. Yet, the choice for gratitude rarely comes without some real effort. But each time I make it, the next choice is a little easier, a little freer, a little less self-conscious. Because every gift I acknowledge reveals another and another until, finally, even the most normal, obvious, and seemingly mundane event or encounter proves to be filled with grace. There is an Estonian proverb that says:
"Who does not thank for little
Will not thank for much."
Acts of gratitude make one grateful because, step by step, they reveal that all is grace.