Every once in a while, I find a book that sparks inspiration, and often gratitude. I love to tuck one of these volumes in my vacation book bag, especially when I know I will be in a beautiful place with family and friends. The Way of Gratitude: Readings for a Joyful Life is the book I included earlier this August on our annual trip to stay on Kineo, a small island with a mountain in the middle of Moosehead Lake. We stay for a week with three other families, we leave our cars on the mainland, and we put our phones down for some unplugged and adventurous quality time together.
I loved to start my day by the water with a cup of coffee and The Way of Gratitude, noodling a poem by Mary Oliver or Wendell Berry, a meditation by James Martin or Thomas Merton, or a short essay by Anne Lamott. Some readings are spiritual, others may seem religious, and still others very secular. The Way of Gratitude is a small book, filled with the writings of 100 authors. There are poems, anecdotes, short essays, quotations…really a variety of ways of expressing gratitude by a variety of writers. This is a “something for everyone” book that can become an “everything for me” book. You can read it all, pick and choose, or just open to a page and see what the entry says to you.
What I read gives me a lens for the day. The words of these “specialists” encourage me on a hike, echo in the laughter around the dinner table, reverberate in conversations on the porch, and color a walk with one of the kids on a windy afternoon. If you are looking for a little lift this fall, maybe a way to re-frame the change of seasons and all that goes with it, give The Way of Gratitude: Readings for a Joyful Life a look-see.