I’m no gardener with a green thumb. No one will be exclaiming over my roses or eating my home grown tomatoes. But the idea of cultivating thankfulness is resonating with me.

Be thankful. I’ve heard this phrase before. But being seems like something you just are. I’m never sure how to achieve the constant state of being thankful. Being is “the nature or essence of a person.” I can sit in a chair and be. I can think about all the things I have to be grateful for. But these thoughts don’t often translate into my existence. The first challenge that comes along can easily shake my thankful being.

Practice thankfulness. I’m familiar with this phrase as well. Practice doesn’t sound fun. Practice makes me think of running scales on the piano. Or doing subtraction or addition problems over and over and over again. I understand that repeated practice is necessary to acquire proficiency in a skill or activity. But can I just skip over the boring practice and still have the skill? (see paragraph above).

Cultivating thankfulness. Now cultivating is a word I can get excited about. Cultivating is “breaking up soil in preparation for sowing or planting.” Cultivating is also “trying to develop a quality, sentiment or skill.”

It’s spring, and although I’m no great gardener (I’m best with succulents and annuals), I do enjoy cultivating. I love preparing the soil, choosing plants and nestling roots into the welcoming earth. I love watering, fertilizing and pruning. Weeding I could do without (reminds me of practice).

Cultivating gets me outside my head and my problems and worries and into the garden. Cultivating gets me breaking up the dirt. Cultivating stimulates my imagination about what will be. Cultivating transforms an empty pot into a blooming display of thankfulness.

This spring, I will be cultivating thankfulness. What will you be growing in your garden?