Today’s post comes from a friend of mine, G.G. Vandagriff. She is the award-winning author of twelve books. She would love for you to visit and subscribe to her interactive blog for readers, authors, and prospective authors: http://ggvandagriff.com/blog. It is embedded in her website, http://ggvandagriff.com. Enjoy! Divertitevi!
I love this time of year when the nights are drawing in, fruit stands dot the streets with fresh corn, melon, peaches, pears, apples, and tomatoes. This year, I feel especially grateful because I have been so richly blessed. That is not just a throwaway line, it is a true expression of gratitude. From now until the end of the year, I will do a “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” account of the specific blessings I embrace as my “abundance.” This is a good year to do that, because our particular circumstances have been such that I have not been able to fill my bucket with material things.
Where to start? Perhaps at the beginning of the year when I dashed off to Italy and felt guided every day into those experiences that led me to discover agape (Christ-like love). I realized that because of a drop in my income this was likely to be my last trip for awhile, and wanted to embrace everything and take it home with me. I did manage to do that. For what makes Italy Italy, for me, is the overflowing love of the Italians. And that I can feel in my heart each day.
Raised to be critical and wary, agape does not come easily to me. That is why it is such a gift. The only thing I can compare it to is emotional honey. It was manifest by the stall-owner in the street market who made me a gift of a lovely turquoise ring “because you feel like you are part of my family.” My B & B “mama” was continually showering me with care, feeding me lunch which was always pasta and leftovers from the night before, inviting me into her home for a family celebration, and going out in the rain on her motorscooter to buy me a ticket to the opera. One day I bought a gorgeous cake from Robiglio’s and Elisabetta (my mama) and Adriana (her future daughter-in-law, therefore my sister) and I sat down in the middle of the day and carved up this treat and laughed together as we ate it. With Elisabetta, it is always time for love and laughter.
I opened up like a tightly closed bud, and my writing opened up at the same time, as my “crazy lady” heroines revealed their secrets to me, and flowing from my surroundings, agape entered my book and became the balm that soothed their worries, setting them on the right path—for agape is, I realized, The Only Way to Paradise.
We know this virtue as charity, and didn’t Paul say, “though I give my body to be burned and have not charity it availeth me nothing.”? That scripture was incomprehensible to me, until I felt charity or agape from people to whom it is a way of life. Now, I see that this love is the great abundance. This is what we strive for and what we receive when we are in need.
So when I think of “embracing abundance” my arms grow long and I gather to myself all those wonderful Italians who showed me how to love people outside my family with simple, everyday acts.
|G. G. Vandagriff
This blog is an attempt by me to add love to the lives of all my readers. I gain nothing from it. It is a free gift from me to you, and will hopefully enrich your lives.