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Grates and Gratefulness Under the Sun

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

Ok, it's a so-so pun, but I think this rusted iron grating suggests the beautiful interconnection and wholeness we can experience when we consciously practice gratefulness. If the centers of the circles in this grate are our essence, we can see how we connect with the center - the heart - of those we touch by our expressions of love and gratitude spreading out in concentric circles. There are even two sets of circles merging in this image - a beautiful metaphor for the very human art of connecting deeply with loved ones and yet remaining whole ourselves at the same time.

What also struck me about this scene was the color and texture of the gratings. Yes, they're rusting to some degree, but this catches the light and looks much more beautiful than gray iron. And the whimsical pattern of interacting circle creates a lightness and beauty in the midst of the business of draining away water. It makes me wonder if my "rusting" as I move through my sixties creates a kind of beauty that I could learn to recognize in myself.

Finally, of course, as functional grates, they let things fall away, so to speak. They're whole purpose is to let water flow down into drain pipes where it can let the surface world function more easily, rather than letting water gather and flood or stagnate. Isn't this another beautiful metaphor? They are not attached to the water that comes to them - in fact, they just let the flow happen.

How to we activate our inner drains? Consider what ways you might let things flow more freely through your being. How might you recognize your own great heart and allow your beauty and graciousness to spread outward? How might you draw closer to the hearts of those you love, and allow that beauty to flow outward? And, of course, how can you allow your mind and heart to express their natural gratefulness in the midst of your life?

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