Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pilgrimage of Gratitude

Where the Pilgrimage Begins
The View
A Walk in the Office
Writing with Eyes Wide Open
The Miracle House in Elmira
The Miracle Novel
Writers are like pilgrims. We step out upon the El Camino, not knowing who else has dared. Step by step as we cast words like nets across the ocean, hoping to capture dreams of stories told and voices heard. We all have our reasons to be here on the page. And it's a good feeling to discover that we are never alone, we pilgrims of written words.

How can we write and not be grateful for the experience, the chance, the craft, the connections? I feel like the pilgrim who just caught sight of a group on the trail and when I arrive, delighted to find that they are also practitioners of gratitude. What a holy thing being grateful is. We silence the complaints, the white noise of the nightly news and we praise God for all things good.

Cultivating gratitude is a weekly commitment by a group of writers who recognize the transformative power of simple acknowledgments. Not only does it become a joy to seek out things to be grateful for, it is uplifting to read what others offer up in gratitude. I am happy to have discovered this weekly cultivation while on this pilgrimage to write, for really, it is about gratitude.

So today, I am listing seven gratitudes for this writing journey:

Grateful to be a Writer!
  1. My husband. I'm so grateful for a man who listens to my stories, believes in me as a writer and does the dishes for me when I'd rather write.
  2. I am so grateful for an incredible office, a space of dreams, a prayer answered. This place is a miracle to begin with, but to have space for all my writing dreams--room for my boxes of research, huge windows with incredible views, space for my huge oak desk, massive treadmill and future conference table...wow. How can I not be grateful everyday?
  3. Satellite Internet. Today, I take a deep breath and offer reconciliation through expressing gratitude. While you are slow beyond measure, you allow me to stay connected in a rural area. I am grateful that Internet can be had in the northern Rockies.
  4. Elmira Pond, how do I love thee? Thank you for the natural infusion you give my writing. I love your clarity, depth and harbor for migratory birds. You thrill me with osprey and tease me with bull frogs.
  5. Miracle of Ducks. I am grateful for my first manuscript and ever so grateful for those who encouraged my steps, especially to Aunt Maryanne and Uncle Roger who became the novel's first patrons so I can complete my revisions for readers (though I'm slow at revising).
  6. So, I am also grateful for revision. Painful to learn, frustrating to finish, but a great guide to the novel-writing process, teaching me that it's about more than a good story. 
  7. Other writers. I am so grateful for your inspiration, encouragement, commitment to show up to the page, courage to write into truth and ability to communicate.
 Join me in this pilgrimage of gratitude and express what you are grateful for today!


  1. I am grateful for an inside and outside view of Charli the writer today!

    1. Thanks, Ruth! And the sun is shining through my windows today...you must have brought it with you when you stopped by!