The common understanding of the word “gratitude” simply does not convey 
the magnitude of gratefulness and all that it offers as a way of being in the world.

Kristi Nelson, Wake Up Grateful

Gratitude passes through you
like the clouds of mood,
like rain turning to sleet
or gray skies breaking into blue.
It is only gratefulness that stays,
holding your trembling hand
beneath the hospital sheet
as you count each breath,
or jumping up and down
when you hear good news.
It is the faithful companion
we have always been seeking,
this feeling of fullness
that follows us everywhere 
we go, less like a shadow 
trailing the body, and more 
like a glimmer held in the heart
that promises never to leave.

Posted by kind permission of the poet.
Photo by Lukasz Llada

James Crews

James Crews

About the author

James Crews is the author of the essay collection, Kindness Will Save the World, and editor of several bestselling poetry anthologies: Healing the Divide, The Path to Kindness, How to Love the World, and The Wonder of Small Things. He has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, People Magazine, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post. He is the author of four prize-winning books of poetry: The Book of What StaysTelling My FatherBluebird, and Every Waking Moment, and his poems have appeared in the New York Times MagazinePloughsharesThe New Republic, and Prairie Schooner. James lives with his husband on forty rocky acres in the woods of Southern Vermont. For more information, visit: