Friday, November 24, 2006

A Moment of Thanks

This afternoon, I stole away on my own for a couple of hours to one of the few places I actually like about Northeast Ohio. It's a beautiful spot in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I ascended up to the Ledges Overlook from the visitors center, where I learned the Wailin' Jennys will be playing next Friday night.

As I walked, I listened to a different kind of tune--the leaves and soil underfoot, the odd bird call, the laughter of children making discoveries in Ice Box Cave, the barking of dogs running into each other on the path. When I got to the top and to the lookout, I just sat for a moment and thought about the many, many things -- not so much things, but intangible wonders and gifts and a few people whose company I've been fortunate to keep -- for which I am deeply thankful.

In no particular order, and not because you asked, I'll share some.

  • Two beautiful, creative, hilarious children. They are everything to me.
  • An extraordinary family -- three brothers, a sister, all their children, my my mother's sister, and dear cousins. We're an odd bunch that only nature could have created.
  • An extraordinary group of friends without whom it would be difficult to imagine my life unfolding.
  • The father of my children, who cares for them deeply, is willfully engaged in their lives, and whose ongoing support allows them many advantages, not the least of which is two relatively cooperative parents who are willing to deal with each other because of our love for them.
  • Work that satisfies my mind, my soul, and the need to put bread on the table and a roof over our heads.
  • The family I work for, who are themselves some of the most extraordinary people I have ever known.
  • The gift of knowing what I love, even if I don't exactly know how to put it all together.
  • Finally recognizing that as long as I have my brains, I have everything I need to make a go of any venture on my own.
  • A deep respect for my self worth.
  • The knowledge that love is an action.
  • A hope and optimism that should have died off long ago, but possibly never will.
  • The people who share my passion for this music, who are working hard at preserving it and yet somehow manage make it new. For all of them who've taken the time to share their vision and encourage me to believe in my own.
For all the times I thought my life was the Titanic, I'm thankful I got past them to enjoy all these and many other gifts dear to my ragged little heart.

May you have the gift of seeing all the things you can be thankful for this weekend and always.

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