Staunton Star - Times - Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years

Slices of Life


April 27, 2022

By: Jill Pertler

Today I was overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude. This isn’t a given for me, at this point in my life. Sometimes I feel the opposite of gratitude; for that I am sorry.

I have been given much. I have been loved much. My life, for the most part has been wonderful. I was born in a country where much is wonderful and much is taken for granted.

I flip the light switch and my room is illuminated, any time day or night all 365 days of the year. I turn on the faucet and have access to an unlimited amount of clean drinking water. Sometimes I am so entitled I think my clean drinking water isn’t good enough and I purchase water that is purported to be even cleaner. Showering every day is a given not a luxury.

I have machines that wash my clothes, dishes and floors. I have a reliable car that starts when I turn the key. It brings me to the superstore where I have practically unlimited access to food. This car operates on gasoline. Sometimes I complain about the prices, but I can purchase as much as I want, so long as I have the money or credit card. I have a bed to sleep on every night. It has comfy pillows and blankets. I’ve been sleeping well.

I have a roof over my head. When it rains I don’t worry about getting wet. When it is very cold I have heat to keep me warm. When it is very hot I have air conditioning to keep me cool.

My fridge and cupboards hold more than enough food for me to eat. I can choose what I eat every day based on what I’m craving or what sounds good. I have the luxury of thinking about diet and exercise and how they can keep me healthy. I have the time to improve both in my life.

And I haven’t touched on the two most important aspects of all: people and nature.

I have friends and family who love me. Yeah, they do and I know it without a shadow of a doubt. My kids and grandkids want to spend time with me. They value my existence that much. How beyond wonderful is that?

This morning, the birds were singing. The squirrels in my backyard were putting on a play show for my benefit. The sun was shining half the day, never mind the other half. When the clouds appeared they moved in the sky like they didn’t have a care in the world, which I’m pretty sure they didn’t.

Clouds float, rivers flow. Nature takes its course. We should be like nature. We should flow freely with the current and not cling to the rocks along the shore. The rocks only hold us back from what we are meant to be. They may feel secure and steady, but they won’t help us move forward. They don’t aid in getting us to our destination. Only the current can do that.

Tonight I am feeling thankful. Sometimes I cling to the rocks, even though I know that won’t get me anywhere. I am human, We all are human.

I have lost people I love, and that hurts, but it is a blessing as well. To love is a blessing. Period. To love is to know you (or someone you love) will lose, in the biggest of ways. Love is the precursor to loss, but it is magical just the same.

Tonight I am feeling thankful. For life. For sunshine. For a good night's sleep. For love that’s here right now and for love that continues on forever. Counting my blessings. I think it’s a good thing to do.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.


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