We can experience God's blessings in tragedy as well as joy. In that spirit, we invite you to go on a "gratitude walk." Whether your pace is slow or aerobic in cadence, take some time simply to look around you as you walk. Experience the wonder of movement, of the senses, of the ambient earth. Bathe your senses in the form and color of plants and trees, the harmony of human and nonhuman sound, the extravagance of human creativity (if you are walking in the city). Ponder life's gifts to you. As you recount each one, you may choose to affirm your gratitude to God and others, "I thank you for____________." Let words of thanks pour forth from your heart and mind. What you will discover, whether your walk is just around the block or over a mountain, is that it is virtually impossible to run out of things for which to be thankful in your relationships, in the beauty of nature, and in your own giftedness and uniqueness.
If your physical condition makes walking difficult or impossible, simply relax in your bed, imagining yourself on a pilgrimage through life in which you notice all the blessings you have received. Take time on this imaginative journey to stop and experience the joy of life's wonder. Recall positive experiences and moments of healing and love. Visualize those persons who have been most pivotal in your life adventure.
Filled with the spirit of gratitude, commit yourself to words of thanksgiving in every positive encounter — a note or e-mail from a friend, physician's phone call, a nurse's or orderly's support, a desk clerk's directions to your appointment, a spouse or friend's company at a medical test. You will discover something utterly amazing — the essential blessedness and giftedness of life and the abundant hand of its Giver. Like young Annie Dillard, who grew up to become one of America's most creative writers, you will experience the world as a place in which God's magic pennies are abundantly strewn in every direction, just waiting to be discovered by each passerby.— Bruce G. Epperly, Lewis D. Solomon in Finding Angels in Boulders