You never know all the sums and pieces of a ripple's influence. Yesterday was my Grampa Eckberg's birthday. An engineer, a remarkable man, someone I never remember meeting except maybe in a part of a three year old's heart gazing at an old kind face. Today cousin Carol Dick messages me on facebook, a woman I don't remember meeting, who we have been connecting this year over painting and illustrating birds and nature and our shared common ground and her kind reading eye of my poetry. Gratitude. Gratitude for sowed seeds. Gratitude for grandfathers, for a mother whose heart misses an old kind face, gratitude for a mother's willingness to stop arguing sometime even if she doesn't "get it". Gratitude for people like Mom who don't even use facebook. Jamie Brown, Jamie Brown you're the wisest girl in town. Gratitude for tears. Gratitude for new friends. Gratitude for faith. Faith in self. Gratitude for when the product sold ends up being a better idea than any of us initially thought. Gratitude for leather and knives given at the wedding of my parents. Gratitude for the passage of time even in finding the need for their divorce, came wisdom. Gratitude for gratitude. Gratitude for life mentors. Gratitude for a professor's husband who once asked his wife if I could live in their basement for a while. Gratitude for kindness. Gratitude for being saved from being stuck in the bleary. Gratitude for always having good bosses. For being luckier than everyone. For being magic even at 35 and for finding at least someone who gets that. Gratitude for common language. Gratitude for touch. Gratitude for honesty. Gratitude for gentle, appropriate, lessons of order in how things work generally. The man gets the door for the woman. We don't stick dirty fingers back in bags of butter popcorn. Gratitude for being a found object, at first found by motion, the spinning of my own body, my father in the ocean with me uncomfortably taking a risk because he wasn't sure he could save me if lost, me four, needing to be thrown, and finding that I am the kind of fish the dolphins chose for friends. Gratitude for always having a good father even though he can be a gremlin. Gratitude for a nephew I never have not had. Gratitude for a recent opening to say I always can call. Gratitude for little children. Gratitude for 4 or 5 specific children if I started naming there would be 5 or 7. Gratitude for grand nephews and nieces specifically. Self forgiveness for being distant in a time of teen aged maturing. Gratitude for the best nephew and niece (grand) in terms of just basic goodness. Gratitude for a liberal city to nurture my blood. Gratitude for emerging. Gratitude for being invited and being faithful I will at least someday be invited. Or hopeful. And hopeful. Gratitude for streams of gratitude flowing into rivers and seas of gratitude. Gratitude for what will never be known but might be. Gratitude for grandfathers.