Sometimes it's hard to show up.
The good thing about Thankful Thursday is that I find myself very aware of the people, places and things that bring me joy. The bad thing is that I've set up a structure that requires my participation and sometimes, like this week, I'm not feeling very grateful.
I know, it's not nice to feel this way, and even worse to admit. It makes me petty and small and full of whine. I have a good life, filled with loving family and friends. Still, despite a multitude of reasons to feel grateful, I am cranky with a cold that has left me lazy and leaden.
My steps were heavy yesterday as I greeted the 9 and 10-year-olds for Happy Hour for Young Readers & Writers. As usual, they bounded into the room eager to share their words and worlds. The smallest girl rushed in with a whirl, her hands stretched to give me her latest artwork.
For you, she said, though we both knew it was not really for me but something she had made to fill a spare moment between homework and happy hour. Sometimes you just take the gift, not as intended but as needed. I took her art; I needed the love.
After we shared our latest favorite words, we did a quick freewrite. One wrote about Halloween and her pirate costume. Another wrote a list of everything she wants to do, which includes traveling to France, playing a board game (instead of writing), and eating whip cream. Another wrote about the stormy weather.
Inspired by the gift of a word, I wrote about love. I am thankful for the smile that spread across the young girl's face when she realized that her action had created a positive reaction. Her simple gift stirred feelings that created a poem, that lifted a heart, that felt love.
Some days it's so easy to give love.
Others, the space between minutes is days long.
My eyes avoid yours. My voice trails, swallows itself.
The phone rings forever. I am never near.
Some days, a minute is a moment.
Your smile lights and spreads.
You offer me paper love, a vivid gift.
All I have to say is yes,
a word stronger than love,
and easier, too.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Praise. It's Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause to appreciate people, places & things. What are you thankful for today?