Angela Kenyon Davis
“Kind & Generous,” Natalie Merchant
November is the month of Thanksgiving. Years mark happy memories and family conflicts like distinct patches sewn carefully together on a thick quilt. Baking cookies—yellow and gold. Sledding with the grandkids—deep purple. That dinner with your folks that ended with the pie on the floor—lime green with tiny polka dots. They all compose the texture and rich colors of the people we have chosen to go through life.
This month’s song by Natalie Merchant reminds me of the moments that I treasure and the people who helped create them. Whether I choose to be more deliberate with my focus, or something outside my control slows me down, I notice that a slower pace allows for deeper appreciation of all the small gifts throughout my day.
I watched a clip of a 10-year-old girl on Tik Tok that went to a nursing home and asked the residents what three things they would wish for if they could have anything. She was shocked to hear that one woman in a wheelchair just wanted cheese. Another wanted rose scented hand lotion. An older gentleman wished for Vienna sausages. She was shocked that their wishes were so simple. The girl felt compelled to grant the wishes and began fundraising to go shopping. The video clip showed the girl, “Here’s your cheese, Betty Lou,” accompanied by a hug. Each elderly resident knew the girl by name. As she passed out tins of sausages and mandarin oranges around the care center, each resident reached their arms out to her for a squeeze. Appreciation lit up the room as kindness slowly extended over the group.
Life is busy. It’s complicated and messy. It is also delicious and wonderful. It requires us to stop moving for long enough to observe all the good along the way. Even if hardship causes pause and reflection—appreciation and gratitude are there waiting to be discovered and embraced. Slow is beautiful. It’s deliberate. Simple. For example, my attention rests in the stream of sunshine as it passes through the window onto the floor. Coffee tastes better inhaling the thick scent of roasted beans first. The warmth of the ceramic cup warms my hands while the chill of a snowy morning covers the ground outside. And just like that appreciation builds momentum that influences how I experience my day.
Time and its elusive nature never give us warning about when our lives will change. It only provides certainty that it will. Take a moment to slow down, read these beautiful lyrics and discover your own moment of appreciation.
You’ve been so kind and generous, I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness, I’m in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
And I never could have gone this far without you
For everything you’ve done, I’m bound to thank you for it
Oh, I want to thank you for so many gifts you gave with love and tenderness
I want to thank you for your generosity that you gave me
I want to thank you, show my gratitude
My love and my respect for you
I want to thank you
Oh, I want to thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.