Not a new revelation. Not a great one. Not an original insight. But an elemental truth in an unexpected moment. The grand, gentle, beautiful awareness of what I am grateful for. It’s a thing we all might find in an evening realizing what we are grateful for; the things that we find courage in this small moment to take into our hands.

I have spent my life trying to realize the connections I felt. To justify a too-small existence, diminished by a social structure I didn’t understand and was ill-equipped to accommodate. Otherness–outsiderness–has always been the definition of who I am in a world in which acceptance is the expected norm, I have lived in a miasma of confusion and resentment. People’s motives, their selfishness, their self-involvement, their isolation from the surrounding world of perceptions, reactions, needs, sensitivities has been an unending chafing on my heart. I am not an innocent. But the understanding of others’ truths has been a source of endless pain. Too often in my life, I have accepted definitions of me that weren’t me, seeing the possibilities of them.

In all of that–in the bubble of me-ness in which I exist, I find the wonder of it all. Today was such a day. Errands in the sunshine on a chilly day, in the little car I love. The smallish gifts I gave myself for my birthday ( a fountain pen; a bottle of 20 year-old port; a pot of miniature daffodils; the elemental good quality food that is central to my life; a bar of French Verbena soap). Firm resolve in response to the frank talk with a supervisor that has gnawed on me, one that will never bring men satisfaction in a world in which she has created an unassailable, self-defined kingdom where the truths she creates are utterly her own.The mastery of an elusive cocktail that is still a wonder to me. The lovely curled-up-on-the-couch nap with a spooning cat. A wonderful gift of birthday flowers from a dear friend. The receipt of a card that made me cry. The prospect of visiting Findhorn with a friend…or living for a month or two in the UK. The knowledge that a few extraordinary friends are better than a truckload of acquaintance “friends”. Today I am lucky. Tomorrow I may be low and angry. But the gratitude is closer to me. Simpler. More wonderful.

I am lucky. The residual strengths are things I can share, can pay forward. All things aren’t as I would have them. But sometimes, “is” is enough.