For dirty miracles, a new friend, & my dog - Seven Gratitudes, vol. 31

#SevenGratitudes is a weekly gratitude practice for the enlivening of my soul, the enrichment of my engagement with the world, and the encouragement of you who stop by. Thanks for being here.

This week I am grateful…


For news of people healing the land. That bioremediation is possible. For dirty miracles.

I did some significant reading this week in Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew’s Toolbox for Sustainable City Living (PDF), which was very exciting. As I read I was reminded about the wondrous possibilities we have in the pursuit of healing the earth. Cities are not the anti-Christ of creation. Instead, they can be seedbeds of ecological revolution. Indeed, the biblical book of Revelation ends with visions of a New City where the leaves of the trees will be for the healing of the nations. Sounds like edible landscaping to me.

Toolbox reminded me deep in my spirit that there is hope. Specifically, it reminded me that there are people working diligently and creatively around the world for our collective well-being. Even further, it reminded me that those people are doing the essential down and dirty work, not simply hobby farming or gardening for profit. Rather, there are folks reclaiming soils that have been violated beyond recognition—soils polluted by petroleum products or awash in toxic waste.

There is an entire section in Toolbox about bioremediation, cleaning and restoring land, water, and air that has been saturated with pollutants and toxic waste.

To be clear, scientific data and knowhow is essential to do this work. It would be needlessly dangerous to march in and start shoveling soil that glows in the dark without doing one’s research. However, this book reminded me that the necessary information is very available and accessible. The work of keeping (from the Hebrew word shomar, meaning to guard, protect, foster—as one would a child; see Genesis 2:15) creation is available to all humans, not only those who take up certain professions.

Cleaning and restoring creation in your neck of the woods could be a matter of planting sunflowers (phytoremediation) or growing mushrooms (mycoremediation).

Is that not miraculous?


For snailmail, for surprises in the mail.

I have said it once and twice before: I love snailmail. I mean, it is practically a hug in an envelope. Totally worth mentioning again and again.

I am grateful this week, specifically, for my friend Laurie’s gentle generosity. She and her husband Adam lowkey sent us this print from their wedding in the mail.

Oh, my heart! 


That I do not have to escape gloomy days, but can choose to be still and listen.

We had rain for the first time since Moving Day and it provided me with a space for emotional discernment. It sort of felt like a drag, you know, but something triggered a memory of my spiritual development professor reminding us that we can choose to listen in those moments instead of running away.

I needed that reminder and I am thankful that it happened. I do not have to be afraid of uncomfortable feelings or memories. I can listen. There is wisdom.


For a new friend and her kindness.

I sat down to my computer one morning this week and a Facebook message popped up. “Hey, its ____ from Saturday morning. I bought you something and want to swing by and drop it off today if that is okay?”

If that is okay. :)

I am thankful for my new friend’s courage and kindness. For her risking what it takes to reach out to a new person. For her thoughtfulness—

Thank you!


For the company of my critter.

Barkley Roy is either underfoot or underway, always accompanying his packmates with a gentle wildness I have yet to fully figure out. He expertly applies a cold nose to tense situations, threatens a knock on the door with pain of death, and cuddles willingly with, ideally, at least three inches of space between his beloved human and himself. He is precious. He is also paranoid on hardwood. He is the best.


For a sense of security? peace? even when nothing is really safe.

The gloomy day I mentioned above was really about the abstract-yet-concrete reality that life is not safe. There is nothing I can do about that. Death is real. Life is real. But only one is guaranteed.

I have to choose to live, in spite of the risk. Otherwise living won’t really happen.


For my funny husband who sends me funny stuff like this. #EarthIsBae

Seven Gratitudes Link-Up

If you would like to join in on this weekly practice of gratitude and chicanery, grab yourself a button and link up with us here every Friday morning of 2017.



  1. Write a listicle about your seven gratitudes each week.
  2. Publish your piece with a link back to my blogpost on Friday mornings.
  3. And then link up with the form at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to visit with the other bloggers in the party--THEY ARE TOO WONDERFUL TO MISS!

What is one thing you are grateful for this week?

I would love to hear about it in the comments!