Gratitude Prayer

‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. “Thank you” expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding.
Alice Walker

Pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of coffee. Yes, I do realise that the kitchen looks as if it had just been wrecked by an untimely earthquake – just ignore the mess. We are renovating and re-decorating. Yes, you can sit on the big pot of paint, the paint on the lid is dry. Would you like a stroopwafel? One of our mindfulness meditation retreat guests of last year, Claire-Marie, kindly sent us these from Holland. No, you can only have one. And don’t give any to that dog, no matter how she bats her eyelashes at you and looks at you in a pleading I-have-had-an-operation-I-should-be-fed-comfort-food sort of way.

Talking about animals and operations, I have prayed many gratitude prayers this week. More than one of our animals have been ill this week, most of them are now much better. It made me think how grateful I am for the animonsters that share our lives, our house, our ups and our downs:

Melchi’ore, a Newfoundland x Belgian Sheppard bitch, the gentlest and most generous of all dogs I have ever know. Most intelligent too. 

Ebonie, a pitch-black gutter cat, small in stature but huge on character and attitude. This one doesn’t suffer fools gladly but she does have the courageous heart of a lion.


Her sister Liquorice, aka Lillie Langtry, is just as black, but much more laid-back. Lillie tends to keep a low profile until she wants her dinner and then she makes her demands known in an incredibly loud, deep and gravelly voice. 

Casper, our tomcat, is a working cat (our one and only) and he takes his responsibilities very seriously. Mice tremble and run for the hills at the sight of him. He keeps the mice from stealing our horses’ hard food and he keeps our straw and hay mice-dropping free.

Aurileo d’Alegria, our little ray of sunshine, golden as only a pure palomino stallion can be, with his little-boy-lost air of contrived innocence – anything to get that last carrot.

All the above four-leggers were rescues.

Belle de la Babinière, my soul-mare. Belle is a huge Friesian mare, pure black, her mane falls own to her knees. She is exceptionally beautiful, and although she is fully aware of this fact, she is never conceited

Her daughter, Aurore d’Alegria, nearly as beautiful as Belle, but more playful and insatiably curious. Aurore is always up for anything, you name it, she is ready to try it. And that includes drinking beer from a can.

Bass, our glorious Tinker stallion (now actually an ex-stallion but he does not seem to have noticed yet) who runs his little herd with patience and understanding but without tolerating disrespectful behaviour

Tess des Sources Sacrées, our other Friesian mare, who is addicted to hugs, who melts into a puddle of contentedness when you groom her and who literally wilts when you turn your back on her.

The Duc D’Alegria, a gentleman through and through, who never fails to greet us and is always happy to see us, with or without carrots.

I can scarcely imagine my life without one of them, nevermind all of them. I could certainly not host our mindfulness meditation retreats without them. They are an integral part of our retreats, especially the horses, through equine-guided meditation and equine-assisted experiential learning.

[Update: Since I wrote this, we have lost both Melchi and Leo. Leo died in March 2018 and Melchi in October 2018. I miss them both enormously. We have rescued two more black cats though, Lucie and Sophie, who do their best and succeed admirably in brightening up our days.]

I am so grateful that Melchi’s operation went well and that she is now nearly fully recovered.

If you have finished with that coffee, you can help me paint this wall. Get the screwdriver so that we can open that can you are sitting on.

Gratitude Prayer

This post is part of the MJP Gratitude Challenge and the Ten Things of Thankful Challenge (#10Thankful) – isn’t it lucky that we have exactly 10 of them? If you click on either of these links, you will find several more similar posts to read and you may even decide to add one yourself. This post is also part of the #Weekend Coffee Share collection of blog posts, hosted by Diana of Parttime 

10 things of thankful#weekendcoffeeshare

36 Replies to “Gratitude Prayer”

  1. What fun that you doubled this up! I love painting and I think to be able to help you paint in the company of all those four-legged lovelies would be wonderfully relaxing 🙂 I’m glad the time of ill health seems to be over and done with now 🙂

  2. Ah, that brought a smile to my face 🙂 I think about you and your fur family SO often – your farm is my go-to daydreaming place. I smile just thinking about the space, the lake, all my horse friends (who thought I’d ever say that!) and the cats walking through the paddocks. Glad Melchi’s recuperating. Sending love to you both.

  3. I’m sorry, I don’t think sitting on a paint can would make my ass happy. I will however, take a seat on the floor and visit with your lovely fur family before I get up and paint a wall!

    1. You may be right on that one and the animonsters will love having you all to themselves. If you did come over though, forget the painting, I need help with my yoga!

  4. What a lovely post. Glad your animals are all recovering now. They have beautiful names. I have a black cat too. Just the one though! (I don’t know what a stroopwafel is, but I think I WOULD like one!)

  5. Ah, coffee and thankfuls.
    Thank you for introducing us to all your collected family of animal pals.
    And who wouldn’t like a tasty treat after a stressful operation? I know I have in the past.

  6. I’m glad your animals made it through their illness and can be back at helping people.
    If I was closer, I’d help you paint. It is one of only a few home improvement chores I can do and do well. A coat of paint is great for completely changing the look of a room.

  7. Your retreat sounds pleasant and peaceful, and if I were closer, I might just drop in for a visit or two, especially to meet your sweet loves in the animal departments. Your cats remind me of one of ours, but he is a male and quite the love bug until the evening hours hit and he turns into a mischievous little adventurer. 😉 If we were to have coffee, I might beg you that we go for a walk along the path to see your beautiful equestrian friends… 🙂 Chat with you again, soon.

  8. Our furfriends do give us ot of pleasure. Enjoyed learning about yours. Recused animals always good we really don’t know what they went through before they came to us.

  9. So many beautiful creatures. I am so grateful for my little dog and the corner of nature that he brings us. It’s always difficult when he’s sick. Glad your creatures are all feeling better. 🙂

Leave a Reply to A Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.