I am grateful to be female. Given the oppressiveness of patriarchy as I have experienced it personally and the persistent ugliness of its presence in the world, that may be surprising, but I am very grateful to be a woman.
I am grateful that I was a child in the 1950’s and early 1960’s; again, somewhat surprising, due to the difficulties in my personal story and the limiting social structure of the times. But I am grateful for the relative innocence of the era: when media was not ever-present and was somewhat more benign; when we children moved more freely within our small world, without the burden of fear and stranger danger; when playing, exploring and making things up was what children did. When our country was ‘between wars’.
I am also grateful to have lived into the 21st century and be experiencing the positive elements of electronic innovation, dizzying, utilitarian, seemingly endless; and the relative progress that has been made in the lives of girls and women.
I am grateful to all of the souls, living and dead, who have influenced me, through their presence in my life and the books they have written; particularly the spiritual teachers whose insights have and do sustain my faith and understanding of the universe. I’m choosing to name, via initials, a few individuals whose perhaps unwitting guidance, at certain moments in my life, helped me to step onto entirely new paths.
Gratitude to MHB: who opened my eyes to a social political understanding of the world, birthing within me feminist, humanist and progressive values that remain central in my life.
Gratitude to PP: who opened my eyes to the power inside the world of dreams.
Gratitude to PL: who dragged me into recovery from addiction and forced my eyes open to the messages of hope and self esteem.
Gratitude to JC: who has listened to me and by that gift enabled me to speak, who understands me and by that gift has helped me to learn from myself, as well as others.
I am ever grateful to many others. Although I’ve not named you specifically, you have been stalwart guides, supporters and fellow seekers in my life to date. I hope that you know not only who you are, but also what you and your love mean to me.
Yes, I am grateful for my friends and family, for my health, for the babies and young people that I am privileged to know and love, for my extraordinary daughter and her generosity, for my spouse and her willingness to build our lives together, for my parents who are gone and my siblings who remain, for my comfortable home and the limitless wonder and beauty of the planet and it’s life force.
Like I said, a partial list.