For one of our classes we're working our way through this book, meeting each week with another to discuss these tiny gems we draw from our weekly readings.
Most weeks I take tiny slivers of something to hold up to the light as the week passes, then promptly move on to the next virtue. But this, this one stuck out to me a little extra, shone a little brighter.
We made a challenge, for one whole day in the next week to notice every single time we said thank you and stop to ask why we were thankful.
And for a whole day I walked around being truly thankful for doors being held open and salt shakers being passed at dinner.
It reminded me of 1000 gifts, and how months ago I filled a little blue notebook with things I was grateful for, and how life got busy and the gratitude list became just another thing on my bigger to-do list and I stuck the little blue book on the shelf.
1. The patience of friends
2. Laughing voices coming from down the hallway
3. Big hugs as we say goodbye
4. Starry nights
One by one I create another list, naming the things in which I am grateful.
I'm nearing 100 now, 100 little gifts reminding me that all is grace.
I'm writing again, wild and rambling prose about people and love and coffee stains.
About this place in which I currently find myself, full of soft hands taking hold of mine and the space I've been feeling that surrounds my heart and the mystery of the unknown.
21. Physical closeness
22. Strong Brewed Coffee
23. Long walks down winding roads
24. Tiny eyes, wide and bright
I'm learning what it means to be loved. Sometimes I forget, and it takes the gentle reminder from a friend to bring my mind back to this. I'm learning it's ok to make mistakes and sometimes it's ok to let go. I'm learning that sometimes it takes being brought to the same place over and over again to finally learn, and sometimes when you think you know it all there comes the realization that there is (always) more left to learn.
47. Snowflakes falling on a Sunday
48. Her head tucked against my shoulder
49. Color coordination at the breakfast table
I'm being challenged to be honest, to be willing to get vulnerable and exposed, to spread open the parts of me I am most ashamed of and sit with them. I am being challenged not to stay here, where my own shortcomings, failures and humanness seem to be illuminated, but to rise.
Challenged to truly exist in this moment and make memories and keep living and loving with a heart flung wide open and to recognize that all this is grace
Elizabeth Gilbert says "Whatever comes and lifts your face out of the dirt and says 'rise, rise, rise' that is grace."
73. Impromptu dance parties
I am falling in love with the world more and more each day. With strong hands and soft eyes and small gestures and words and sounds and people, always people. Sometimes all this loving makes me feel as though my heart is going to fracture under the weight of it all. I love too fiercely, too deeply, too quickly and passionately and wildly, and sometimes this causes bruises and cuts and I lay on the carpet wondering why I have loved at all. The challenge in these moments is to remain open, to keep on loving and letting myself be loved in different forms.
83. The silence of early morning
84. Clay under my fingers
Someone asked me once what I wanted my legacy to be, and I'll always remember what I said. I stole the phrase from Jennifer Pastiloff, and it is still one of the truest things I know.
"When I get to the end of my life and ask one final 'What have I done?' let my answer be 'I have done love.''
I want to have done love. I want to have loved well, but I also want to have loved badly and fully and passionately and messy and like crazy and the right people at the wrong time and the wrong people at the right time and myself.
I want to always experience love so completely it almost breaks my heart.
At the end of this day, when the clock has already ticked on to morning and exhaustion is in my bones from all the messy loving I did today, when I am vaguely aware of the still broken pieces of myself being made whole, I add one more thing to my list in delicate black ink script
I am grateful for love