Jack wrote this in April, 2005:
Hokay. I try to think of five particularly communistic things going on in my life every morning, every evening, during the day, to find reasons for being grateful for. It’s a ritual I try to practice constantly, but if I begin the day with it, it’s a lot easier to remember for the rest of the day.
I’m going to let the lottery numbers on the PB draw last night be my first, even though it’s really easy. Those numbers did good and I have a lot of good feeling about what hit last night. It’s cheating, but I’m going to be grateful for that anyway.
Hokay. Number two. It snowed last night. Everything was budded out, and it damned well snowed. Maybe you think I’m not grateful, but I am. If the frost gets those buds for a third time there ain’t going to be any apples, apricots, grapes, pecans, but there’s always another year, and we need the moisture, probably more than we need the fruit this year. It’s been a long drought and the moisture deficit isn’t entirely made up, even with all the rain and snow this winter. Yeah. I’m grateful. Yes, I am. I can feel it, reluctant, squirming, fighting every inch of the way, but grateful is emerging.
Number 3. Tres. I’m grateful for these affirmations. That’s an easy one too, cheating, but they’ve had an enormous influence on my life for the past decade, and sometimes I forget to be grateful for knowing how good they are for me. And besides, it fills a slot, allowing me not to have to confide to you what some of the ‘really communist’ troubles I’m going to have to be grateful for before I get past these affirmations in my private mind, this morning. But those are none of your business, so I’m going to try to keep this clean and well lighted.
Number 4. Quatro. Lessee. A cat just took a dump on the rug over there across the room. Knows better than that, but did it anyway. It means, hopefully, that the cat was communicating to me the litter box is getting too full. I’m grateful that cat reminded me of my neglect. I haven’t cleaned it up, but when I do I will examine the stool and make certain the cat wasn’t telling me something else, something more important. I’m grateful a cat will tell a person willing to listen what’s going on with it, what sort of health problems might be hidden there in that pea brain, wanting to come out but not knowing how.
Number 5: Half an hour after daybreak and the wind’s coming back up outside. I’m grateful for that wind, that howling and clattering of things loose on the porch, the rabid windchimes, the cold air whistling in around the old wooden frames of the windows.
Maybe you think I’m not grateful for that wind, but I am. Here’s why.
Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmm. I am. Just give me a minute here.
Ahhhh.. I’m grateful for that wind because it’s going to melt the snow quickly. Maybe even soon enough to save the blossoms and buds. Maybe that old wind will just evaporate enough of the snow, good old wind, temperature 37 degrees F, maybe it will have all that snow gone in no time at all and the new grapevines won’t lose their buds, the apples will be okay.
A lot of people mightn’t be grateful for that wind howling to blue blazes out there, me sipping my coffee here, typing, feeling the cold air on my bare ankles, but I am. Yes, I am.