Today I am grateful for...
* the opportunity to have lunch with Sangita at a tasty seafood restaurant in uptown Charlotte: mountain trout crusted with almonds and topped with roasted garlic butter, wild rice, steamed asparagus and carrots, a mixed greens salad awash in balsamic viniagrette, and a dessert trio of creme brulee, triple-berry cobbler, and banana pudding - Yum! It's always good to break away from life on the homefront to be an adult eating and having a quiet conversation with another adult. I love my children, and I am grateful for the chance to homeschool them, but getting away is a blessing as well.
* having my mother living close by, so that when I make midday appointments, she can come hang out with the children and Maya.
* Yesterday we got some much-needed rain. Is the drought over? Not yet, but the sound of the rain pounding on the roof of the car, the sight of water streaming down the streets, and the sheets of rain casually tossed across the grassy medians by passing cars were cause for celebration in our dry city.
* Baseball season has begun. Last night, Steve and Daniel went to the Charlotte Knights baseball game. The Knights are a triple-A baseball team that plays just over the border in South Carolina (don't ask!), and the two main men in my life took off for the stadium just after Steve returned from work. When they left, they were quite happy. It's not the same as spending four days in Florida gorging on baseball and sunflower seeds, but it was very good nonetheless.
*In true geeky fashion, Kristiana and I took advantage of our "girls' night out" and left for the library as soon as possible. While there, I discovered a fascinating book called "Creative Correspondence." It is a how-to book on making our own envelopes and notecards out of junk mail, old envelopes, and decorative scrap paper. Kristiana made a personalized envelope/note for her buddy, Amber, today. I'm still deciding who to send my first creation to. Hmmmm...
* The opportunity to celebrate Easter with my mother, mother-in-law, and niece two days ago. I know that many people who read this blog do not share my faith, and therefore Easter is not an important time for them. I have read about many other ways of celebrating life, love, and friendship on other blogs and in books. Just today, I read about one friend's realization that Easter is a time to ponder, extend, and receive forgiveness for all wrongs committed. Exactly. Forgiveness was extended from Christ on the cross to the thief at His side who mocked Him. He granted forgiveness to the guards who tortured, crucified, and killed Him. I have learned about the power of dance, of speech, of listening, of music, of meditation, and of silence. For me, Easter is a time to combine all of those expressions of gratitude and love towards God, to accept His forgiveness for the many wrong things I have done (most of which, I must admit, has been intentional on my part) and to reconnect with the Source of joy, wisdom, peace, love, and forgiveness. For me, Easter is the highest of holidays, the most important day in the year for this follower of Christ. As a family, we sang, we prayed, we cried, we ate, we laughed, we remembered the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And we continue to rejoice as we continue on this journey called life.
* I am enormously grateful for the friends who write notes, cards, and email to me. Some of you are regular corresponders, and I am always glad to see your names in my inbox. Others of you are less frequent in your communication, and your words are appreciated more than you can ever imagine. All of you are missed, cherished, and, dare I say it, loved!
*An aside here - Why does it feel so strange to tell others how we feel? Especially when what we feel is gratitude, admiration, and love? We tend not to hold back on the criticism, the rudeness, or the belittling. But the love, the kindness, the tenderness, that stuff we withhold. What's up with that?
* Today I am grateful for the wondrous life I get to live: this house where I sit at the computer to surf the net and write my blog, my children who are busy making jewelry and sorting through hundreds of baseball trading cards, homeschooling, approaching 15 years of marriage to my dear Steve and our upcoming anniversary trip to Costa Rica, good health, dear friends, and a church I am always glad to attend.
* I hear the recycling truck making its way through the neighborhood; I'm grateful that somebody somewhere decided that we all need to reuse some of the stuff we so quickly and carelessly throw away. Maya just climbed up on the couch next to the window to lie down and soak in some sunshine. Her (mostly) calm spirit inspires us all. The ceiling fans are whirring and stirring a cool breeze around me - and, strangely enough, within me.
* Today I want to be conscious of every detail, of the stimulation of each of my six senses. Today I want to remember as much as possible and describe it here and in my journal as minutely as possible. Today is a beautiful day, a quietly glorious day, and I am grateful for every bit of it.