Saying “thank you” has always been tough for me. It’s as if some deep part of me is certain that anything good I have was given to me by mistake, and if I draw attention to it with gratitude, it will be taken away. The part of me that insists that this is not actually true thought I should write this, today.
I give thanks to Dionysos, for all his gifts to me, and for the lessons and challenges, and for the times when all he did was listen to this poor mortal’s cries.
I give thanks to Dionysos, for all the friends and lovers he has brought me while I walk his path.
I give thanks to the Lady of the Moon and the Lord of Death and Resurrection, for sharing their secret names with me, and for reminding me that the value of the secret is in the discipline of keeping it, not in the hoarding of knowledge.
I give thanks to Melek Ta’us for giving me what I did not ask for, showing me what I did not want to see, and reminding me that harsh love is still love.
I give thanks to Ghede, whichever one you are, for helping me to laugh at horror and make allies of the monsters I meet.
I give thanks to Freyja, teacher and lover, for her patience and the lessons she teaches in small, subtle ways, and for the gift of her priestess.
I give thanks to my ancestors of blood, for the very breath I have, and for every heartbeat.
I give thanks to my ancestors of blood, for the things they taught me when I was young, good and bad, for without them I would not be who I am today.
I give thanks to my ancestors of spirit, for the world they built and left for me, for the words they left behind, the examples that inspire me to my own acts.
I give thanks to my ancestors of spirit, for all the mistakes they left behind for me to fix, for the challenges that force me to grow.
I give thanks to my lovers, for the caresses and sighs, for the pleasure and the pain, for awakening my passion.
I give thanks to my lovers, for the arguments and the leaving, for not letting me get away with being less than they deserve.
I give thanks to my friends, for the time spent talking, and the time spent silent, and for opening doors to aspects of life I would never have thought to open on my own.
I give thanks to my friends, for the times apart, for the disagreements, for the distances that ache and echo, for these things teach me what I really value.
I give thanks to my son, for making me his father, for the smiles and the laughter and the rebellion by not rebelling.
I give thanks to my son, for the three in the morning colicky crying, the fragrant diapers, and all the other things that helped me appreciate the value in hardship for love’s sake.
And I give thanks to all whom I have forgotten, all the gods and ancestors, all the friends and lovers and family I did not have time or room to name. All of you have given me who and what and where I am today, good and bad, and I would not trade such gifts for anything.