A note to myself on gratitude

Last night The Boss and I grilled goat. Inside our 1-bedroom apartment.

Naturally it took only minutes for our place to fill up with smoke so we opened the window in the kitchen and lit some candles to absorb the sweet and spicy aroma that was now burning my eyes.

Before bed we blew out the candles but left the window open. It was 17 degrees outside so we bundled up before crawling under the covers.

Our kitchen window is about 15 feet from where we sleep so the wind flooded our space without remorse through most of the night. Determined to air out our apartment I pulled my hoodie over my head and pulled the strings tight. But by 4:45 a.m. I couldn’t bear it any longer. I jumped up and ran to the kitchen bracing myself for the chill to bite me through the mesh. Just as I was about to pull the glass down I suddenly heard an active thought in my mind say someone is sleeping outside right now.

While I hummed and sang my devotional prayers earlier in the day, and actively try to be in remembrance of God on a usual basis, I felt like I had, in some ways, used my method of devotion as a cop out. Repeating the same words over and over have sometimes been my way of taking the easy way out. To sit and be present and supplicate; to think and feel and actively be grateful can sometimes take more time than I’m admittedly willing to give to my Creator who has given me everything.

The wind sent a hearty shove into my chest and I quickly beared all my weight down onto the glass’s edge until the last bit of cold air was shut out into the darkness. I lay awake in bed feeling a slight pang of guilt for all the times I’d exchanged It’s cold out there today(!)’s with strangers on elevator rides over the last few weeks without following my words with silent prayers of gratitude.

I tried to think of ways to make up for lost time.

Somewhere in the tangles of life it can be frighteningly easy to forget to remember. And I don’t want to be among the masses that make the mistake of believing that my joys and comforts are a result of my own efforts. I want to continue my personal, rhythmic, devotions that I offer in Arabic even though it is a language that is not native to my tongue. But in addition I want to offer something else from my heart: conscious moments of gratitude for all that is good in my life. And conscious moments of gratitude even when nothing seems to go my way because it could always be worse. And because someone is sleeping outside right now.

5 thoughts on “A note to myself on gratitude

  1. Never in my life commented on a blog- ever.

    Discovered you this morning (in the most curiously circuitous way…) & I have spent most of what has been a largely unproductive but Alhamdulillah kinda day trawling through lovely slices of yourself.

    This post here, however is pure Gold- it speaks to the heart of me & my rambles of gratitude & has ensured that your’e definitely one to keep!

    Bi’iznillah, only Khair.

  2. Beautiful thoughtful post. Thank you for making me more aware and grateful. How very eye opening. Counting my blessings.

  3. beautiful.
    Thanks, Sabrina.

  4. First of all, how did the goat taste? I’ve only ever had cabrito, so was wondering if a recipe is forthcoming. Secondly, thank you for the reminder during these winter days of all that we have to be thankful for. Often it is too easy to burrow down into the insulation of an easy life and ignore or forget the suffering of others. The season that has become a time of reflection and renewal for me is the most challenging to the survival of others. I needed to read that entry today. Thanks.

  5. I love when simple events in our life unlock moments of enlightened understanding about ourselves and the world in which we live 🙂

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