Grateful to whom??

comments 8
the post-God side


Yesterday was beautiful.  Silver and I drove a loop through the mountains in the early evening to soak up the golden oranges and vibrant reds amidst the dark pines.  We pulled over to hike for a couple miles, face-to-face with these leaves while I wore our baby around my front, holding, hugging, cuddling, giggling with her as we walked.

We came home and grilled delicious asiago, garlic, green onion, bacon burgers for dinner.

Darkness fell, and I strapped my little darling around me again, made a decaf raspberry latte, and her and I went for a stroll around our neighborhood.  We stopped at the overlook and gazed over our city admiring the lights.  I sat in the grass, sipped my latte, enjoyed the warm autumn breeze. My baby girl got out and played in her magical little baby land, exploring the acorns and fallen leaves around her.

I started to whisper, “Thank you,” and I realized I had nobody to thank.  But feeling overwhelmed with gratefulness, I felt compelled to say thank you.  The universe? That’s silly and just transfers my need for a sentience beyond myself from my idea of God to some personalized fate.  But I have a deep need to thank someone.  Who do I thank now?

The Author

I'm a closet atheist christian missionary. Paradigm shifts happen frequently for those who allow themselves to think critically about currently held beliefs and openly about new ones. I’ve developed the skill, or perhaps addiction, for change but the community around me is slow to catch up -- and would damn me if they knew where I stood.


  1. Thankfulness doesn’t need an object. It’s a subjective state that is complete in and of itself. Thankfulness is an acknowledgement of existence or reality. The fact that you are experiencing life at such an exquisite level is a testement to your commitment to reality. This life is all we have. Feeling thankful and gracious to have existed at all is a highly appropriate reaction. As a matter of fact, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that gratitude is a pretty natural state to be in. I would wager that it’s the same state animals are in when they are just doing what they do. It doesn’t need to be expressed towards a direct object. It’s just a way of being. It’s just how you relate to reality.

    Plus, it’s inspiring to read 🙂

    Best Wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a totally different way of looking at it for me. I really hope I can come to the place that I feel comfortable just being thankful. I’m sure I will, and probably soon, it just takes some time to think of it that way. I’ve always had this personal “presence” with me everywhere and everyplace that I could talk to. It’s different no longer having that. Sometimes depressing, but I love your positive outlook on it.
      “Feeling thankful and gracious to have existed at all is a highly appropriate reaction. ” <– yes!


  2. Thank your daughter for helping you see the world through new eyes. Thank your spouse for sharing the experience with you, and being so supportive. Thank yourself for taking the time out of your schedule to enjoy the day.

    (And although you cannot thank them personally, you can be grateful to the people who thought to set aside the mountains forests, preserving them for you instead of cutting down all the trees for lumber. And the coffee growers who made your latte possible, and the farmers who made your burger possible. And the hardworking staff at the electric company who are keeping those city lights burning. And so forth.)

    I sometimes feel a deep sense of awe at the universe and my connection to everything in it. There’s nobody to thank, but I think a better word for what I feel is “appreciation”. I’ve heard some people use “transcendence”, I think that’s a good one too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I LOVE this. It gives me a person, people, to be grateful to. And not only that, but to simultaneously feel so connected to them. I think that’s something I’ve been missing and now there’s seriously a connectedness hole within me. I used to be 24/7 tapped into God — the Being in control of everything, I could talk to about everything, it was wonderful. So now, to feel connected to the rest of the world again — it’s healing. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: On Gratitude to No One | The Caveat Lector

  4. A few recent years ago while walking in our gardens, I took a moment to sit down on a step ladder that is part of our garden decor. It was our Thanksgiving weekend. (Canadian and in October.) Years into my non-faith thankfulness, I experienced what one might consider one of my most truly spiritual moments ever but especially since leaving the faith. It had nothing to do with an entity that existed in the ether, and everything to do with just feeling one with now. As one who has ups and downs with depression it was a glimpse into a moment in time where I metaphorically speaking levitated to another plane. One of thankfulness. And I wept at the joy of being.

    There is a transition to be made when one’s world view changes, that’s for sure. I’m with Andy and Ubi.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s incredibly beautiful. I feel like I can relate to you a lot, especially when dealing with the ups and downs of depression. To know that there is a place, a reality, in which you can live feeling so connected and “high” gives me hope!! Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. regularfellow says

    You can be thankful without thanking anyone in particular. That is what matters the most, I think. When I thank someone, I don’t necessarily expect a “You’re welcome” in response. But perhaps a look and a smile are nice. I would have no problem imagining the universe looking back at me and smiling in response to my thankfulness.


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