Today I am thankful for peace of mind, for clarity of thought, and for a much clearer understanding of who I am and what matters most in my life. The past two weeks have been two of the toughest of my life, but I am much better. I am well. In the words of my dear and distant friend, Leonie, "Today I grew like a wildflower."
I am thankful for the green grass, the trees in full bloom, and the sounds and colors of the natural world. Red birds. Greyish brown squirrels. Dark green and mottled red turtles. Yellow and purple pansies. Yellow, purple, white, and blue irises. Red roses. Eyes, skin, hair, and toe nails of countless hues and colors on parade here in Charlotte on this gorgeous 75 degree Thursday.
I am thankful for four hours apart from the cares and responsibilities of life with Katie. In one of the most beautiful, serene, airy, peaceful homes I have ever entered. The attention to details, to crown moldings, to counter tops, to ornamental doorknobs, to mirror size and location, to delicate paintings and hearty pottery, the pool and hot tub, the screened in porch, the lake just 50 feet from the back door - it was all spectacular. We had four hours to sit on the back porch, reading, journaling, and eating Paul Newman mint sandwich cookies and blue corn chips. To sip bottles of Izze grapefruit, pear, and lemon soda, and wash it all down with ice water. To listen to the sound of the water and the geese, the scratch of my pen on the journal pages, Katie's fingers on her computer keyboard, and NPR radio's classical music wafting through the house via the state of the art sound system.
I am thankful that I took time to wander around that magnificent house, camera in hand, capturing images I hope to never forget. I plan to put together an album of photos from today as a reminder that peace, solitude, joy, and quietness are always close at hand.
Not only in that house, but also within me. Within my heart, my mind, my spirit, my thoughts are attention to detail, quietness, strength, delicateness (is that a word?) as well as thickness. Soft, cozy pillows of loving kindness and heavy slate slabs of fortitude. Warm blankets of grace to cover a chilled heart in this cold world as well as breezy panels of screen where laughter and love flow freely through. At times I am airy, light, and welcoming but, when necessary, I can also be resolute, impervious, and stubborn. All of that in all of me.
I am thankful that today I saw that house. I sat there reminding myself: "Live this, G. Breathe it. Right here. Right now. This moment. This place." I read, wrote, and gave thanks. I talked to my friend, hugged her, laughed with her, and together we made plans to return there soon. Perhaps to spend the night.
As I sat poolside, eyes closed, chin raised towards the sunny sky, I wished that loved ones could be there with me to see it, to sip wine, to gaze up at the full moon some dark night, and to fall asleep to the sweet lapping of water at the shore.
Thank you, Gibbs, for opening your home to us for the afternoon. Thanks for being willing to leave us alone there to rest, relax, and be strengthed for all that lies ahead for both of us.
I am thankful also to my children, for their love for one another and for me, for their maturity and security within themselves and with each other, and their willingness to release me to enjoy the afternoon with Katie. It is one of the greatest gifts of my life to know that when I leave them here, my children are fine. They don't fight or argue with each other. They don't answer the door or the telephone unless they recognize a telephone number on caller ID. They are careful when they eat and drink things to put the dishes and other utensils where they belong. While I was gone, they finished their homeschooling assignments and did their chores. Kristiana made sure Daniel had everything he needed when his ride came to take him to baseball practice. They are amazing children, and I am thankful for their love for and unswerving support of me and my need for solitude.
Today I am blessed.
Today I am grateful.
Today I am at peace.
Thanks be to God.