Small Gratitudes

A non-exhaustive list of the things that make us human


“At present, I find myself feeling grateful for mushrooms and mycelium! This interest was sparked by the book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World by American mycologist Paul Stamets. What fascinates me most about mycelium, which are microscopic cells that bear mushrooms, is that it has the power to do things like help clear up oil spills. Stamets writes, ‘Whenever a catastrophe creates a field of debris—whether from downed trees or an oil spill—many fungi respond with waves of mycelium. This adaptive ability reflects the deep-rooted ancestry and diversity of fungi—resulting in the evolution of a whole kingdom populated with between 1 and 2 million species.’ In all of this chaos, I feel grateful knowing that mushrooms, which are small and often overlooked, are quietly protecting the health of our planet. As Stamets reminds us, ‘We must tread softly on the web of life.’ So while destructive forces are all around us and obvious, mushrooms are on our side, and I think that’s incredibly hopeful.”—Madeleine Barnes, author of You Do Not Have to be Good


“I love the solitude of post-divorce quarantine, and the opportunities it grants: to hear myself think; to meet myself where I am every day; to practice the self-help ‘radical acceptance’ stuff I used to scorn because I thought I was so damn smart; to finally get to know myself after thirty-seven years of sleepwalking; to find I still have stories to tell and share. Mostly, I’m grateful for the gift of loneliness, a chance to mourn what I’ve lost and dream about what might lie ahead.”—Shaun Hamill, author of A Cosmology of Monsters


Steven Genise is an author and editor based in Seattle.  He loves reading about all the things you’re grateful for.  If you’d like to be included, email him at or DM him on Twitter @StevenGenise.


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