Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite Holiday, hands down. It was the only holiday that brought on a bout of homesickness when I lived in China. I think it’s my favorite because unlike Christmas, with it’s focus on materialism, Thanksgiving is simply about being grateful and being together. This year, I thought it might be fun to try and write a gratitude haiku as a kind of salute to the day ~ see graphic that accompanies this post.
And of course, given that it’s Thanksgiving week, I thought it also fitting that I reflect on some of the things for which I’m grateful. If my life journey so far could be captured by one of those “before” and “after” photos, I’d have to say without question, that the line of demarcation would have to be the year 2010. Because that’s the year I began to intentionally allow myself the freedom to explore, grow, discover, and take risks that I could never have conceived of before. As I look back on all that has taken place since then, there are more things than I can count that I feel grateful for. However, in the interest of brevity, I’ll limited my list here to just ten.
**The ending of the long standing, on again/off again relationship I had with my ex, who was a good man, but at best oblivious to and at worst annoyed by the things I’ve learned to treasure most about myself. And while at the time it meant letting go of my plans to have a child, I’ve since realized that it didn’t meant I couldn’t help bring into being something that, while different, is just as precious.
**China. That whole experience was like my chrysalis. First off, I felt this inexplicable compulsion to go. And once inside the experience, my understanding of so many things, including myself, transformed and expanded in a way that made it impossible to shrink back into the kind of living I’d been doing before. It took me a while (longer than I’d have preferred, let me tell you!) to realize there was no going back, but eventually, I learned to surrender to my soul’s wisdom.
**All of the sources of information, wisdom, and inspiration that continue to help me evolve along this journey. They say that you’re a product of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Well, because I haven’t had the opportunity to cultivate personal friendships with enough folks who’re aspiring to/living lives similar to what I envision for my own, over the years, to balance things out, I’ve committed myself to maintaining virtual connections in the meantime.
**Good health, despite a setback or two.
**Doors that would have been such a relief had they opened up to me, but that continued to stay closed. Now I’m grateful for it because for me, those doors would have only opened up to a life of settling. And as a result of those closed doors, I was forced to, as Sade so beautifully put it, “keep looking.” Admittedly, at times, that “looking” felt like traversing dark, endless caves, equipped with only the feeble light that was my faith to navigate my way through. But….
**Thanks to the unwavering love and support of my Creator, those times were never cold, never hopeless.
**Open windows that, while at times not particularly desirable, always managed to facilitate a climb to higher, stronger places within.
**A deeper understanding of the seeming paradox of both courage and surrender, and by extension a growing ability to be able to cultivate and balance the two.
**The kindness of strangers, aka, those amazing ambassadors of God’s grace.
Invitation – Take a minute right now and mentally bask in the thought of something you feel grateful for. Then, write a haiku about it, or simply gratitude itself.
Stuff sparking resonance, excitement or wonder:
My new HP Spectre (the old one had swatches of Scotch tape holding the screen together!)