There are some things in this world that just make my heart happy. I like to think that I am not being childish, but maybe it is childlike, which I hope means keeping a sense of awe and wonder that helps life to be bright and happy. I appreciate the changing of the seasons, the wonders of the world. I like to look for lessons and messages of hope in everyday experiences and especially in nature. I believe when we slow down and look at things closely we can find deeper meaning and connection. For this reason, I love spring. Temperature-wise, I am a summer girl, and for the vibrancy of color and contrast, fall has my heart. Winter and I tolerate each other with the understanding that rest is needful. But spring. Spring! When hardy flowers grown from bulbs planted with hope two seasons ago push their heads through the ground that only yesterday was frozen, it makes my heart absolutely sing. When I’m walking through the nature path and find the hill that was frosted the last time I tramped through is now dressed in vibrant green and gentle white snowdrop flowers that appeared out of nowhere, it takes my breath away. I love the marking of time with the fitful weather that reminds us that both rain and sunshine are needed for growth, for life. It helps to see the purpose of our personal experiences – struggles and joys – that help us to grow as we work our way through this human adventure.
I am entering a new stage in my adventure. My son, who I still sometimes feel was born just the other day, and his wife are expecting a baby. I am a grandmother! From the ultrasound video they shared with me, I can see that he is already very much like his father. His hands were behind his head and his ankles were crossed as if he was just relaxing in a hammock. And when the focus was just right, I could see his little heart beating. Watching his heart beat made my heart soar. This new little life, this tiny human that is living and growing miraculously inside his mother’s womb is the beginning of the next generation of my family! We don’t know his name, but he has already changed my world, and the possibilities for the effect he will have on the world are endless!
When you think of the individuals who have “changed the world” you probably think of notable names of heroes and leaders, but you may also think of the neighbor who helped you, or the friend who supported you in your darkest moments. Because each person is unique with inherent value, we cannot believe that there are lives that don’t matter, and we cannot think that ending a life before there has been a chance for them to contribute to the world would be acceptable. Whatever the challenges that may be faced, they can be overcome with love, community, hope, and determination.
I am thankful for my life, even with the times that I wondered how I could go on. I am thankful for the incredible and beautiful world we live in, for which we all have a responsibility to care and keep. I am thankful for the people who have helped to shape me, inspirational and notable strangers, leaders and teachers, and intimate family and friends. I am thankful for the hope and possibility that I will be able to help and lift others in my small way. Even the smallest spring flower brings needed color, hope, and light to the world.
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