Wednesday, March 5, 2008


If I had to describe the one thing I have learned from all the dear people in Blogland it could be surmised in one word: gratitude.

Collectively, bloggers are very grateful and recognize the good in their lives. These past couple of months of blogging have made me aware of living in the moment and being cognizant of all that’s around me.

Some bloggers do Thankful Thursdays, Sunday quotes, or just tell uplifting tales of enduring spirit. After I read a couple of blogs I always feel great, don’t you? So many of us are from different parts of the world, different paths in life, but gratitude in Blogland is pervasive!

I was thinking of trying to bring this good feeling to our dinner table. I bought this book A Grateful Heart Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles.

In it are quotes of gratitude from all over the world from philosophers, poets, all religions, just every walk of life. I started by reading a quote from Kabir, a Middle Eastern poet one night at dinner:

Don’t go outside your house to see flowers.
My friend, do not bother with that excursion.
Inside your body there are flowers.
One flower has a thousand petals.
That will do for a place to sit.
Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty
Inside the body and out of it,
Before gardens and after gardens

Well, the kids guffawed and fell off their chairs. But I’ve kept at it for the past few weeks. One night one smart aleck brought a bongo set up from the basement to beat along while I read. One night they hid the book on me in the kitchen couch.

But you know what? Slowly it’s creeping up on them, this gratitude thing. My 7 year old asks before dinner what I’ve chosen to read. One night after dinner she and my husband brought the book into the den and read a few more poems together.

The bongo player told me one night that she had marked a poem with the book’s ribbon that sounded good to her to share. I was stunned!

Now, about one month later, it’s becoming something of a ritual. One evening my college son called while we were eating. “Mom, you still reading poems from that book?” I said yes.
“Hey Mom,” he said,” That’s pretty cool”.

So, thank you, dear blogging friends, for having such a great affect on my family. Guess they won’t be hiding my book of gratitude in the kitchen couch anymore!


Firefly Hill said...

What a wonderful idea Tara! And I agree bloggers are great people each in their individual way...everyone is so positive. I dont feel any negative energy in blogland!


amanda said...

How wonderful! We did something similar growing up at my house, too. We would have to go around the table and tell what we were thankful for in that day. Then we would have the chance to read from these little tiny cards tucked into a small loaf of bread. We hated it at first, but then - we started looking forward to it. My sister and I would sit at the table before dinner and dump out all the cards to find "good ones."

This will stick with your children and become part of their own families one day. What a great foundation you are building!


Mary said...

That IS pretty cool.

There is something about blogging (or an kind of journaling) that instantly induces reflection ... and gratitude. And when it's out there for the whole world to read, the positive and good stuff floats to the top.

And pretty much everyone wins.

kelly said...

So cool. I gotta say i think the bongo playing is hilarious but it's neat that they are all getting it in their own way. have a great day!

Connie said...

What a wonderful story. All the positive energy that flows from one blogger to another also touches our relationships with our loved ones which in turn flows back to our blogging friends. It's all good.

Deb said...

Beautiful post Tara. Your book sounds wonderful and I love the quote you mentioned.

John-Michael said...

Tear-filled eyes filter my view of the keyboard as I send my GRATITUDE to You.

My personal quest is to introduce "I love you" into my world as a comfortable and usual awareness. I can testify to the reality that consistence and respectful faithfulness result in wonderful results.

You inspired and lifted me up today!

Donna said...

What a wonderful story Tara. I love the fact that the readings actually did affect the children. Brings tears to my eyes.
Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Oh Tara, I laughed so hard at this post. Thank you for your honesty in telling us the reaction from your children on the daily reading. I am glad you persevered and now they look forward to it. It will be a fond memory in their hearts for the rest of their lives. When my boys were little they hated Mom's "old stuff" in the house but guess who is into antiquing these days? grown sons. :)

Angela said...

This is awesome!! :-). Glad to read how they have come to enjoy it now.
Have a wonderful day!!

Pat said...

That looks like a wonderful book Tara, and that is a wonderful tradition to begin with your children.
I've read that by recognizing and acknowledging gratitude for everyday things we can help reduce depression. Plus, in this hectic world, just sitting down together as a family for dinner each night is a blessing!

Grateful for you, and all the other bloggers that I read every day!

Mockingbird Hill said...

...and this is how traditions begin. What a great idea and good for you for not giving up in the face of bongos!

What a very nice post...thanks for sharing with all of us.


Mary said...

Oh Tara, what a great tradition! Yes, I think my crew would have done the same thing at first, but you were a good mother to stick with it! :)

Oliver Rain said...

Sounds like a great idea. So often we eat dinner around our house on the run, we don't get to visit with one another. It's sounds like you have lovely mealtimes.

I love being part of Blogland too!

felicity said...

Dear Tara - what a great idea! My children are a little bit too small I think but its something that I would love to incorporate - if hubbie could bear to wait before tucking into dinner - maybe we could do it after dinner :-)

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a great idea...we will have to start a tradition like that!

Have a blessed day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

A Romantic Porch said...

Tara, That is absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Your hard work and determination is paying off and isn't cool to be able to find something good coming from blogland! that helps your whole family. xoRachel

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

That is amazing! What a wonderful memory you are creating. I have to say, that I laughed out loud about the bongo playing. If I would have tried this with my four boys when they were growing up, that is something they would have done too.!

Beth Leintz said...

That's so neat! I can just imagine your whole post as a little film- seeing you read, seeing your kids rolling their eyes, playing jokes on you, and then finally, really enjoying your ritual. I think its really nice that you have a planned activity for dinner time so its a social event and not just eating!

Anonymous said...

lovely reading this post...Blogging indeed has changed our world in so many ways...You have written it so beautifully...Have a wonderful time!

JeannieTheDreamer said...

Hello Tara, I'm so happy for you! It's very heartwarming to read stories like these:) I told myself that my posts will be about what i am thankful for... i hope to keep that promise. Being thankful- finding something to be thankful for, one day at a time, makes me feel very good, and i hope i will remember to do it.

God bless and more power to you, mama Tara!


CIELO said...

Hi Tara... you are so right, Blogging indeed has changed our world in so many ways!

Is that a photograph of your leaving room in your blog banner? It's so lovely... I love the quality of light that shines trough, and the peaceful atmosphere you get just by observing it....

Have a great weekend


Abbie said...

Hi Tara!
What a fabulous idea! and I just LOVE the response from the kids.. hiding it! Ha!! That's what my 9 yr old does with the remote when he doesn't want anyone to change the channel!
Thank you so much for sharing such a 'feel good' story!

Cottage Contessa said...

Tara sweetie, I love this story, it's awesome! I really had to laugh about your bongo playing smarty pants, reminded me so much of........well,me! LOL I just may have to go check this book out, I love quotes and short poems too!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Rosie's Whimsy said...

That is absolutely fabulous! It would have been so easy to give up....but you persevered and now you have created a tradition that will will be remembered forever. Me thinks you had better find the next book or your family will be sorely disappointed!

:-) Rosie

She'sSewPretty said...

I think that's wonderful. We always eat together and talk about our day. I might have to look for that book now.

Alicia ~ Time Worn Style said...

Tara, your childrens reactions brought such a smile to my face. They like to put up a fight dont they but once it seeps in, they enjoy things as much as we do. I have a picture in my head of the bongo drums going along with the reading, so funny! I am going to see if I can find a copy of this book. the evening ritual really appeals to me...
Alicia ~ time worn style

pve design said...

attitude gratitude is my mantra!

Sunnispace said...

Wow - this book sounds great! I'll have to get a copy, thanks for the post on it!! (But sorry to hear about the frustrating day that following - ai, yai, yai - sometimes that's just the way it goes!)

Shannon J said...

I'm catching up on your blog, can you tell? ;) You are so right. I feel so much love and gratitude while reading fellow blogger friends posts. It does give me a truly different attitude, and outlook towards so many aspects of my life. Sounds like a wonderful book.

Jennifer said...

Great idea, but the bongo bit had me in stitches!