Sometimes you read the darnedest things.

I was looking through my bookshelves, searching for anything other than a cookbook. I’m getting tired of coming up with new recipes. I like to cook, but gee whiz, someone please bring me a pizza.

Tucked next to The Winnie the Pooh Cookbook was a book of Zen writings. Among the Haiku, prayers, and bits of wisdom, I found this American Indian saying,

“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for life and strength. Give thanks for your food. And give thanks for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason to give thanks, rest assured the fault is yours.”

Wait. WHAT?

Shouldn’t there be an exclamation point at the end, a smiley face, or a winking emoji? It seems a bit harsh.

It brings to mind a prayer my aunt cross-stitched for her sister, Mom, in 1952. It used to hang in the bedroom I shared with my sister Dee, until we both agreed it was too spooky, and hung it in a closet.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

Wait. WHAT?

We might die in the night? Our souls will be taken from us? Is this supposed to be soothing?

Perhaps that’s the point, maybe we aren’t supposed to be soothed all the time. Instead, we need to be reminded to take some responsibility for how we live in this world. Simply put, be thankful for something. Let God or the universe keep our souls pure and constant, no matter where we are.

It might be a good idea to keep a sense of goodness, compassion, and tranquility (just in case) whether or not we believe in reincarnation, or that our souls will live on for eternity in heaven.

If we can’t find the energy to come up with a recipe or a reason to be thankful, it’s our own darned fault. Sometimes realizing that is enough.

Namaste-making slow cooked pork with O.J.