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Sometimes it helps to sit back and take stock of all the little things we're grateful for, or the things that speak to us during the day. Or the week. I think this can be especially helpful when things are busy, hectic and we're on the edge of overwhelm.
Yesterday, I stumbled across this Mary Oliver poem called "The Place I Want to Get Back To." As synchronicity would have it, I found it just a few hours after a friend and I had been talking about gratitude. The last few stanzas say:
I have gone every day to the same woods,For twenty years
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
Such gifts, bestowed,
can't be repeated.
If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named
Things that touched my heart this week:
- My daughter drawing a beautiful photo of her and I with a larger-than-life flower between us. On the back, she wrote, "I love you, Mom." Later that day, I had a meeting with the writing group. As I got out of the car at the venue, F stopped me and said, "Mom, you have that picture I drew you, right? If you get lonely, or you miss me, then just look at the picture."
- After asking the company driver some important things expats should know about Myanmar culture, he began listing off every Buddhist festival. His English isn't the best, and my Myanmar is nearly non-existent (I know, I'm bad), and he wasn't really asnwering the question I asked; however, the next day when I saw him, he handed me a piece of paper with every month of the year and each corresponding Buddhist festival for that month. In English. In beautiful penmanship. Despite misunderstanding each other, it was clear how important it was that we take an interest in Myanmar.
- Spending time with one of the most prolific children's books writers in the world and her lovely, funny daughter. They traveled from the United States to generously share their experiences, knowledge, and skills with students ages 4-18. I was in awe all week and am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to watch and listen. Though the lessons were aimed at children, any adult would've learned a tremendous amount. I did. I am also touched and grateful that my daughter - at just six years old - is fortunate enough to attend a school that puts on a special event like this. She has no idea how lucky she is.
- The generosity and thoughtfulness of friends. Many times this week, my friends - in Yangon and abroad - showed up for me in these ways: coffee; making charts + lists; listening; reading; writing; reminding me they're there for me; being my cheerleaders; giving hugs; making big plans. I am blessed with beautiful, kind-hearted, loving friends.
So, what touched your heart this week? What are you grateful for?