Last night, as we slumped around the table, bellies full and wine glasses empty, I took my turn and shared two words of gratitude. Surprised, you asked if that was all. The truth is, it wasn’t, but at the time, those were the only words I could say out loud. Now, hours later in the light of day, I have the rest.
I am grateful for the dawn over the Sierras inching up, pale pink to my left, golden yellow to my right, unveiling my angels sleeping in the back seat.
I am grateful for the dark roast with cream warming next to me as I type, helping me greet every morning with a smile.
I am grateful for the new and the old, the memories that push me forward into the future and those that ground me in the past.
I am grateful for air conditioning, Bintang beer and chocolate-center Cotton Buns. You saw me through some challenging times last summer.
I am grateful for friends I’ve made and lost, friends I’ve seen and those I have only thought of. You may not know it, but I listen to you and learn more about myself from your presence.
I’m grateful for curiosity, challenge and conflict. From them, I grow into a better human.
I’m grateful for brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts, grandmothers and grandfathers. Your eyes help create my vision, even when they don’t see in the same direction.
I’m grateful for simplicity, complication, and everything in between. It always seems to come at just the wrong, yet just the right time.
I’m grateful for the 6,000,000-plus like-minded people who turned left, not right, and helped me see a future.
I’m grateful for the wind whistling through the trees. Some say it’s the spirit talking. I’m thankful I believe them.
I’m grateful for language. The words I write, the sounds I hear, and the letters I read teach me in a way I learn best.
I’m grateful for faith, wavering in and out, back and forth, between the sky, the spirits, and the universe. Sometimes, you’re all I’ve got.
I’m grateful for June 29, 1985. Our worlds collided then, and life has been a doozy ever since.
Now, I’m back to where I began. Two words. Two spirits. Two reasons to face each day, to walk the talk, to take a step forward when what I really want to do is stay right where I am. Because when the pink glow is gone, replaced by a blaze of red, or orange, or a blanket of black, those two words are all that matter.
And that, dear family, is what I’m grateful for.