By Anne Martin
What’s a melon got to do with gratitude?
A couple of months ago I picked up a melon in the produce department of a local Metro supermarket. As I considered the melon, I thought about the people who plant, tend, harvest, pack, ship, unpack, store, price and shelve melons.
In that moment I felt deep gratitude for everyone involved in getting that melon into my hand. All those people I don’t know. Those people I don’t usually think about. But without them, no melons.
Of late at times the feeling of gratitude, such as the melon moment, is overwhelming.
Here’s a short list of the kinds of things I’m talking about:
- People who develop skills and do their work well. I think of the team that fixed up my car after it was pelted with gravel on the 404.
- People who do their jobs well just for the paycheque. Hey, they’re getting up and getting it done! Thank you.
- Richard, who works at Metro. Richard hollers from the down the aisle as to whether I can find what I’m looking for. If I can’t, Richard will find it for me. Thanks Richard!
- Management at Metro who hired Richard. A big thanks for bringing Richard into my life.
- Things I buy that are functional and a great design – a pleasure to use.
- A guy called Jesse who risked and opened a restaurant because he loves food and loves to create a great eating experience for people. Well done!
- The young woman who held the elevator door open while I stumbled on with my bags. Thank you.
- The architect who creates homes from old tires and plastic bottles. Such creativity.
- People who get angry and not complacent in a world that can feel crazy and mean.
- People who understand the importance of dignity and refuse to take the route of insult and cynicism.
- People who keep asking: Can’t we be kinder and hold people accountable?
- People who insist: We can be kinder and hold people accountable!
I could add thousands of items to the list, but you get my drift.
Here is my take on it: gratitude has to do with YES. YES as a moment of recognition, acknowledgement and connection. YES as a thumbs up affirmation for whomever I have felt appreciation for: The melon grower and the people who stock shelves at Metro touched me as they hadn’t before. So I say YES to what they do and who they are. I say “Thank you!”
Maybe it all sounds a little corny. Somewhat flaky. But the YES of gratitude makes me happy. I feel joy in those sudden YES moments of thankfulness. And it just grows.
The YES of gratitude sets the stage for more YESES. For a deepening sense of my connection to life. A deepening sense of belonging. A deepening sense of the awesome fact we’re all in this together! So thanks to everyone for what they are and what they do. Cause this world often ain’t an easy place to be.
So what happened to create the shift? I didn’t tell myself. “Okay Anne, now you’re going to feel more gratitude.” Something just seemed to kick in.
It’s not as if I’ve never felt gratitude before, but this has been a marked shift.
It’s hard to say what happened. What’s the catalyst for any change in how we see the world? How we experience day-to-day life? What goes on in the mind to shift one’s perspective? What helps us deepen our sense of connectedness? Appreciation? Joy?
I don’t know. I can speculate about getting older, experiencing loss and grief, watching those I love have their lives turned upside down, watching lies, hate and greed challenge human decency.
What I do know is that a growing sense of gratitude brings me more deeply into the arms of life, cradled more securely in the wonder of creativity, inspiration and joy. The YES of grateful is the YES of becoming a more generous and humane humanity.
I am grateful for that. Grateful for melons. #grateful.