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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gratitude on a Thursday

"You must appreciate...and engage your time in mentioning and thanking the True One. You must live in the utmost happiness. If any trouble or vicissitude comes into your lives, if your heart is depressed on account of health, livelihood or vocation, let not these things affect you. They should not cause unhappiness, for Baha'u'llah has brought you divine happiness. He has prepared heavenly food for you; He has destined eternal bounty for you; He has bestowed everlasting glory upon you. Therefore, these glad tidings should cause you to soar in the atmosphere of joy forever and ever. Render continual thanks unto God so that the confirmations of God may encircle you all." ~'Abdu'l-Baha ~

I am feeling grateful for a good number of things today. So much so that even though it is not gratitude Monday, I just have to share!

When I woke up this morning my dear friend and personal trainer extraordinaire Pascale had just posted this awesome blog post about gratitude AND tea. Two of my all time favourite things in one blog post. What could be better? Starting my day reading her blog just got me started on the right foot, and I just *knew* it was going to be a good day.

I spent my morning volunteering on Soil Born Farm, which today meant raking enormous quantities of leaves into piles, raking the piles onto tarps, pulling the tarps across the farm to our leaf mountain, and piling them all up in a central location to be turned into mulch. The sky was blue. The sun was shining. The leaves were crunchy beneath our feet, and there were birds out in the trees and flitting here and there from treetop to treetop. After so long of no physical activity, it felt really, really good to do some good physical work outside in the winter sunshine. After we were done raking we pulled the remaining beets, kohlrabi, turnips and chard out of one of the beds in the youth garden. It felt SO good to get my hands back into the soil. There is something about harvesting food that is pure magic. I feel it in my body and my heart. Guy and I ate lunch outside in the sunshine. It is slightly chilly now, but once the sunshine started warming us up I realized what a blessing it is to still be able to eat a home-cooked vegetarian meal outside on an organic farm in the middle of winter.

This afternoon my father had the first of his music compositions performed at a concert at Sac State. It was a five-part piece for a woodwind quintet, and it was lovely. He has worked so hard this year teaching all day and going to school at night, and then spending every free moment when we was not at school or work composing music that I rarely see him. But tomorrow afternoon he has his final concert, and then he is done! He will have his Master's degree in music composition! I am really proud of him. He has composed some tremendously beautiful pieces of music this year, and I am looking forward to hearing them be performed tomorrow.

Have you looked up recently? Why don't you take a moment now and go outside and check out the moon. She is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l right now friends. Crisp, wide-faced, heading towards being full, but not quite. She is begging to be admired, so get thyself outside and admire!

I am also feeling grateful for the quote at the top of this email, and for the message it contains. I have been reading it every morning lately. Today I began my day by reading it, and thought I could do with reading it again before I head to bed tonight because I received another "thank you for applying for this position" letter today, and have been trying to re-orient my perspective and see it as another door closing so that I get one step closer to the one that is going to open if I keep looking and applying and staying positive. Yes. I am definitely grateful for the reminder that I should not allow external circumstances over which I have no control get me down.

On the way home from dinner out with my parents tonight we drove through a neighbourhood called the fabulous 40s. It is one of the wealthiest areas of the city, and it is famous for its gorgeous Christmas light decorations, so during the month of December people drive up and down through the streets to enjoy the magical light displays. Most of the trees on the streets are wrapped in lights. Strands of coloured and white lights arc over the road, creating a tunnel of fairy lights to drive through. Christmas trees glow inside people's living rooms, and every window and eave is draped with lights. My favourites are the strands of white icicle lights hanging from the eaves of some homes. They give off a soft, pretty glow, but are not too over the top. Driving up and down the streets of the fabulous 40s at this time of year is like entering another world. One that makes me feel ever so slightly like I have driven into a Disney movie, and any moment a prince is going to suddenly appear, take my hand, and lead me off down the street of lights as fireworks go off in the clear sky above. It is surreal, but it is also fun, and tonight I found myself feeling grateful for the light displays that make this season so lighthearted and dreamlike.

How about you, friends? What are you feeling grateful for on this clear, crisp winter's night?

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