By Gratitude Girl Carolyn
It rained here for about a month. Until yesterday. And today the sun has come up with a brilliance rarely seen. We weathered (literally) 6.5 inches of rain in a three-day period last week. The creek overflowed its boundaries, creeping ever more closely to the house. Every day, it was the first thing I looked at after getting out of bed. On one of the last days of rain, I contemplated how I would prepare for the flooding that seemed inevitable. What pieces of furniture and what personal items could I lift up out of harm’s way? Where would I go? How much would be lost?
This led me to think of all of the folks who have dealt with the recent weather events, both here in the US and all over the world. As I watched the water creeping ever closer, I felt ever more connected to those who had faced this same tragedy. It was cold and the rain was relentless. I was warm and protected inside the house, but it looked more and more like I would have to make some quick decisions about where and when and how I would leave.
I am grateful that the rain stopped two days ago. The water receded. The sun came out and all seems set back in order. Yet, what I really want to share is my gratefulness for being drawn to think about the disaster victims and survivors of this past year. I am grateful that my thoughts connected with those who were not so lucky as me. As they looked out of their windows and watched the water coming ever closer and finally coming into their homes, into their lives, how did they cope? What did they think? Where did they go?
I am grateful that the human mind can expand enough to consider the plight of others. I am grateful that we collectively feel our fellows’ pain. For without the human emotional bond, we would not strive to make a better world. We would not offer our assistance. We would not pull from our own storehouse and offer our goods and our love to those in need.
It is easy to say that I know the sun is always shining. Behind the clouds, beyond the rain, the sun is always shining. Always. And I am grateful. But today I think I am more grateful that we as humans still respond to our brothers and sisters who are in trouble. I am grateful that we share the heartbreak of parents we will never meet. I am grateful that I can cry at the senseless violence in our country. For if I can still feel and weep, then I can still act. I can still envision a better world. I can still do my part to fix what needs fixing. Not by posting my outrage on Facebook or shouting on the street corner, but by becoming a gentler and more loving person.
I am grateful that we all can choose to be more loving. I am grateful to be more generous. I am grateful that we can choose to share the burdens of others, even when we do not know them personally. The sun is always shining and I am grateful.