I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’m grateful for. Of course, I’m grateful for my partner, my Ahava family, my friends and my animal companions – and even though I’m not “casual” about any of these gifts – family, friends and community are standard answers to the What-Are-You-Grateful-For question. So I decided to dig a little deeper. What are the aspects of these gifts that make me smile – that speak to my heart? What are the “little” things that I’m grateful for?

This is a stream of consciousness list – there is no particular order or sequence. It is just a random and incomplete list of some of the things that my heart reaches for when I see them or feel them. I hope that you will recognize some of these things and that they will speak to you, too.

Belly laughs, big hugs, kids telling riddles, long walks and wading pools. Head butts from my cat, challenges, adventure, how-to books, comic books and coloring books. Good health and a strong body, long bicycle rides, dogs napping at my feet, cats curled up in my lap and green vegetables. My mother’s stories of her childhood, my father’s attentiveness to my mother, my partner’s willingness to always listen to me, my niece’s willingness to confide in me. The dogs’ excitement when we pull the leashes out, an intricate spider web, the birds at the feeders, the windows open in the house early in the morning.

Sunrise and sunset, dramatic clouds, rain, sharing popcorn with my dog, books on tape, the generosity of friends and the affection of my partner. Strangers who smile and speak, my 3 year old great nephew’s energy, being at home, travel, hiking and puzzles. People who have passion, good design, tools that work, computers and software. The internet. Hot chocolate and strong coffee, connecting with old friends, making new friends, sharing, food prepared with love. Pictures, synchronicity, good memories, paved roads. New ideas, inspiration, dedication, hard work and a sense of accomplishment. Collaboration and team work. Football playoffs, college baseball and pre-school soccer.

The art of Manet and Cassatt. Shadows and shade trees. Gardens. People who are engaged. People who agree with me and people who disagree with me. Learning new things. Bright colors, sandals, peanut butter and PRAYER. People who will look me in the eye, straight talk, giggling. Connecting. Being in the flow. Giving and receiving. That moment the light goes on. Knowing that I live in a safe Universe. A wonderful, supportive spiritual community. The knowingness that it is okay to be me just the way I am. Love, Love and more Love!

I invite you to think of all the small ways that big things show up in your life and let your heart smile!

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