I’ve been listening to Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants while driving around our diocese. 

I just got to the chapter called “Allegiance to Gratitude” where she contrasts the experience of beginning the school day saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the Onondaga Nation’s practice of beginning with a Thanksgiving Address, “…a river of words as old as the people themselves, known in Onondaga language as the Words That Come Before All Else. This ancient order of protocol sets gratitude as the highest priority. The gratitude is directed straight to the ones who share their gifts with the world. 

‘Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one.”

The address continues with gratitude for all forms of creation–plants, animals, the wider environment.  

It stirred up within me, my own thoughts of gratitude, particularly during the Easter season: 

Thank you, clergy and lay leaders, for all the effort that went into leading your congregations through the Triduum and into Easter joy. 

Thank you to all who were baptized this Easter around the diocese, for joining us on this journey of faith. 

Thank you to all who open themselves up, being vulnerable for the sake of the Gospel, and in the hope that we can draw closer to all that God desires for us. 

Thank you, God, for giving us challenges that stretch us, and help us learn. 

Thank you, God, for giving us insight when we are wrong so that we can repair what we have broken.

For what are you grateful today? 

2 comments on “Gratitude”

  1. I’m grateful for the women of the Transfiguration book group. We read Braiding Sweetgrass and as always the insights of fellow group members deepened my understanding of the book. Ours is a special book group. We have become lifelong friends.

  2. I read this book a few months ago in a curated book group by the Rev. Delle McCormick and it had a profound impact on me. Thanks for sharing it across the diocese.