“For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today I was overcome with the visceral gratitude that I have long been seeking.  I have been struggling with unexplained pain down my arm and was thinking the worst… or at least researching the range of ailments that would create those symptoms.  My acupuncturist who also is accomplished in a wide range of body work found the nerve that was pinched just below my neck and, although it wasn’t an instant cure, it was a clear road to health..   Gratitude.

Truly there is nothing so sweet as the return to health. My son who fell 8 feet on his head a couple of months ago is still on a steady path back to his full strength. But the huge scab on his scalp remains as a visceral reminder of how close the edge of our health really is. When I touch it, I am amazed that we walk around every day taking so much for granted.  I am even more amazed at how quickly we lose our reverence for the smallest miracles that make us well.

As the pain subsided in my arm and hand I felt like bowing down and standing up in celebration. Ahhhh to have our health, the only thing that allows us any chance at all of experiencing the best that life has to offer. Often we recognize the gifts of health and vitality when they are threatened. Living with continuous pain even for a few days makes you both compassionate for those who spend their lives in pain and grateful beyond words for the opportunity to heal.

Perhaps another synonym for gratitude is health.  Just as giving thanks is the highest form of thought,  so too is the experience of well being the highest form of happiness. Taking full advantage of the multi-sensory experience of living in a high functioning body is a direct route to gratitude.