A Constantly Growing List of What To Be Thankful For

  1. Children that are not mine to love, to hold, but children who I have the privilege of loving, teaching, hugging. Children who are not required to love me, but do so anyways, give me butterfly kisses, and open my eyes.
  2. Rain that washes over windows, pours into streets, reminds me that sometimes God cries for the Earth as well.
  3. Mountains full of rich, blue air that gusts over me and through my lungs.
  4. Water that I drink, water that I bathe in, water that I swim in. Water.
  5. Cats that make a lot of noise, cats that walk over me, and settle to sleep.
  6. Cupcakes with icing, artificial icing, artificial sprinkles. Cupcakes remind me that often, it is the little things.
  7. Computers to read articles on, computers to write blogs and poetry on. Computers that allow us to communicate with the world outside our bubble.
  8. Internet that gives us the power to love people even when we can’t see them.
  9. Hands that allows us to pick things up, make things, hold others’ hands.
  10. Feet that take us new places, take us to un-ventured places, take us home.
  11. Breath that moves through our lungs, powering red blood cells, powering movement, life.
  12. Poetry that speaks to the soul, that changes our mind, that opens our eyes, that lets us explore life outside of ourselves.
  13. Words that expose our truths, lies, and uncertainties.
  14. Beds with clean sheets, beds that straighten our backs after long days.
  15. Shelter that so many people don’t have.
  16. Friends that make my days brighter, make me laugh harder than I thought I ever could.
  17. Fingers that type blog posts, fingers that tap, fingers that tie knots, fingers that press violin strings, fingers that hold violin bows, fingers that wear rings, fingers that play guitar, fingers that pluck ukulele strings.
  18. Pain that reminds us that we are alive and can feel.
  19. Watching funny movies that make my stomach hurt and reteach us that God really is part comedian.
  20. Guacamole. No explanation needed.
  21. Coffee and its smell in the morning. Pure joy and milk, in one cup.
  22. Fuzzy socks and the warmth on my toes they provide.
  23. Memories, their lasting effect burning in the back of my mind.
  24. Cows, their moos, their fuzzy noses, their milk, their general awesomeness.
  25. Laughing. No explanation needed.
  26. Sunsets so pretty they hurt your eyes, as the sun goes down to sleep another countless night, while the moon presides.
  27. Fleece jackets that are warm on cool mornings, pillows in class, something to hide behind.
  28. Walking barefoot and feeling the Earth release under your foot, and cradle your feet in soil older than anything else we know.
  29. Pumpkin patches, with grumpy children, orange pumpkins, bales of hay, lots of red leaves, lots of joy.
  30. Hay rides in a bouncing tractor, with other families, other kids, bouncing through the fields, enjoying the crispness of the air, the softness of the warmth.
  31. Saturday mornings, when my eyes open because of sunlight pouring through my window, onto my pillow, onto the cat lying on top of me.
  32. Mangoes that are sweet and juicy and lovely and oh-so-full of sunshine.
  33. Camping, waking up to the overwhelming warmth of heat in a tent. Climbing out of the door of a tent and seeing a fire, with a pot (a literal pot) of coffee resting on a grate.
  34. Tents that shelter me, but don’t guard me from the sound of rain pounding the Earth around me.
  35. Cameras that allow me to capture moments and love them later.
  36. Painting in the dark of my bedroom late at night, not caring for each stroke, but still liking the outcome.
  37. Coloring in the lines, outside the lines, over the lines, with crayons, with colored pencils, with 5 year olds, in church. Coloring.
  38. Babysitting little ones that smile at me, fall asleep in my arms, call me the wrong names, give me gifts, wake me up in the morning with glimmering eyes.
  39. Boots that raise my self esteem and make me happier to be marching through life.
  40. Taxes that support the less privileged, taxes that support all the things I want in a successful society.
  41. Singing in church, singing at home, singing in the car, singing in the rain, singing through tears, singing out of key, singing.
  42. Dukas, small vegetable stands that support families and provide easy access to fresh fruit veggies, and occasional Snickers bars.
  43. Askaris (gate guards) that become friends, welcome you home every night, smile wide at “good morning, good evening.”
  44. Elephants with better memory than I, big trunks swinging in the trees, elephants with loud roars, watching me pass in my big truck.
  45. While we’re at it, big white toyota trucks that take me over rough terrain, adventuring to camp sites, and the viewing of gorgeous animals.
  46. To-go mugs that allow me to bring my coffee of happiness (see #21) to even happier places, or to places that need more happiness.
  47. People to disagree with when I become convinced that I’ve got it all figured out.
  48. Paper to write on, to make cranes out of, to make planes out of, to keep track of life on, to remember moments, to release.
  49. Fairy lights on headboards that make late evenings immersed in homework, just a little bit better.
  50. Butterflies that flutter without a care in the world, unaware of the beauty of their wings, only conscience of their wings’ practical purpose.
  51. Sunbirds with long tails, shining in the sunlight, flitting through the air in search of sweetness.
  52. Hummingbirds that weigh less than a quarter and have beaks thin enough to enter a flower and partake in its life.
  53. Playgrounds to play on, playgrounds to take pictures of, playgrounds to build, playgrounds to fall over, playgrounds.
  54. Shoes, even if I don’t like wearing them, they protect your feet.
  55. Cake. Cake.
  56. Ceramic mugs to drink steaming tea out of, mugs that make your hot drink 75% better.
  57. TV shows, even if they are stupid and time-consuming and only fulfilling short term. TV shows.
  58. Violins, for their complexity, difficulty to practice, and lovely sound.
  59. Fiddle music, even when its kind of annoying, probably because your brother is playing them.
  60. Jokes, because laughter (see #25).
  61. Bridges that take me to new places, lead me to the other side, even the burnt ones.
  62. Pinterest, if we’re really being honest here…
  63. Ferries that blow salty air into your hair, and take you somewhere you could not have gotten to otherwise.
  64. Art that “comforts the disturbed and disturbs the comfortable.”
  65. Schnitzel the dog and schnitzel the food, eaten in small pubs in Switzerland.
  66. Flowers that brighten any day, flowers that grow in your garden.
  67. Scarves that keep necks warm, scarves that look pretty, scarves that wrap around a couple times, circle scarves, scarves.
  68. Flannel jackets, shirts, night gowns, pants, scarves, flannel.
  69. Books. No explanation needed.
  70. Teachers that enrich minds and teach souls, teachers that scold for good reasons, teachers who really do know what is best.
  71. Subways in London, NYC, subways that are easy, fast, efficient, fun.
  72. Dogs that lick your face, dogs that smell not-so-great, dogs that know what is up, dogs that hike, dogs that swim. Dogs.
  73. Family that support me in countless ways.
  74. Mornings when the sky is blue, and orange, and pink, and chilly.
  75. Hearing the smile in someone’s voice.
  76. Guitars that play pretty notes, guitars that lead us in singing, guitars that play a melody of hope in the soft morning.
  77. Lavender soap to wash yourself with.
  78. Breakfast quiche: for being cheesy and tasty and oh-so-lovely.
  79. Forks to let us eat said quiche.
  80. Glasses that allows us to see when our eyes just don’t do the job.
  81. The Bible for providing us with tales of those who made the right decisions and those who didn’t; those who chose not to do, and those that did; those that chose to be lights; and those who were in love with the big, scary world.
  82. The ability to share. Share our hearts, our minds, our hands, our food, our light, our time, ourselves.
  83. Shukas – large, Maasai blankets – for being warm, giving, and colorful.
  84. Jacaranda trees for being purple, and lovely, and encouraging, and life giving.
  85. Campfires for warmth, the smoky smell, the inviting light.
  86. All-nighters around the said campfire, playing music, talking with one another, read to one another, being with one another, loving one another well.

As updated on September 16, 2016.


PS: Not necessarily in order of importance. I mean, if that was true, what number would you assume to be guacamole? Obviously number 1.



4 thoughts on “A Constantly Growing List of What To Be Thankful For

  1. Reid, this made me infinitely happy. So, so much beauty here. Such a joyful reminder to open my eyes and really see the life that surrounds me (it really almost brought me to tears). Thank you, thank you.


  2. Reid I absolutely adore this. 73 is a fantastic number, and I love that you set a goal for this number and found a huge range of things to be thankful for, while still being specific as to why. This post made me me smile. a lot. The list also helps us readers get to you know you more and know about things that are important to you.
    One suggestion:There were just a few instances where some of the tense in your sentences was a tad confusing cause it changed within the sentence, so be careful on picking and sticking with one tense throughout.
    This post thoroughly gave me the warm and fuzzies.
    Thank You for that.


  3. Wow, so poetic, Reid. I really liked the explanations that you threw in for each one. They gave a better sense of why you are grateful for each point. I should have included something like that in my post. One thing that I think detracts from the post, though not enough to make your post any less elegant, is your use of so many incomplete sentences. You use them very well, but too much of a good thing, you know…Loved this post. Keep it up!


  4. Reid,
    Your writing is honest. That is more than many people can say. It is a reflection of yourself and I can see you in the page. Also I liked the poetic aspect that you put in. It was really, really beautiful. Thank you. The only thing I would say, is because it is such a long list, despite how beautiful it was, it was a little hard to get through. I don’t really know what you could do, but if you just changed the format somehow to make it more visually appealing that would be good. Really Reid, your writing is impressive. Don’t stop. Please. You’ll make the world better, you already are.


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