One year ago, I went through an abrupt, bone-aching pre-breakup. Whether it was the beginning of an end, or the end of a beginning, I just couldn’t tell, because I was too busy busy being devastated, exhausted, and breathless. 

Still, I found myself sitting alone at home one dark, November evening, knowing that I was truly grateful for the time that I had spent on this earth with a smart, thoughtful person, looking up at the stars together, pointing and squinting and learning.

One year later, I am grateful for all that has come since, and for what is to pass. 

I feel gratitude for the beauty of the land, as I load up on exploding figs at the farmers’ market and scoop up a fistful of crimson dahlias. I can reach the mountains, the waves, and the paralyzing intersections of Market St. in as long as it takes me to seep into a new podcast. 

How fortunate I am to be here, at this time, and in this place.

I feel gratitude for my friends, especially those who gathered on a surprisingly sunny San Francisco Saturday to celebrate another year around the sun with me. I am their friend ever to the north, roaming around and through new spaces, always eager to share a bowl of coconut soup or shimmy around at a concert.

For forty or so hours each week, I am grateful for how I can apply my skills as a communicator to help carry out the vision of a pioneer at the intersections of good farming, good cooking, and good eating. The path that led me to her and to this professional place has been filled with wandering and wondering. 

Now, I am here.

As I continue to navigate what it means to be a daughter and a sister in a tribe of self-driven souls, I am filled with gratitude for my small family. With vast vats of support and a spare but spot-on dose of parental skepticism, I have charted my own path, one that has led me to a peaceful fall sunset on a blue and white porch.

The imminence of a turkey-filled feast has me musing about gratitude more acutely, but I find moments of transcendent gratitude every so often, in the crescendo of a sweeping song, or on a Saturday afternoon with a cross-breeze streaming through my living room. In moments such as these, I scream in silence to nobody and everybody, “How beautiful is this life?” 

So I pick up my pen, or more likely, settle down at my keyboard, to write about it. 

Perhaps that is what I am most grateful for — the process of self-discovery I engage with through the typing or scribbling of words on a page, virtual or paper.

I am grateful for finding the words that allow me to express gratitude for my home, my vocation, my people, and my self.