Taking a break from my regularly scheduled running, eating and mom related blogging to talk about gratitude.
I’m working hard on gratitude this week. Trying to counteract feelings of loss, regret and just plain feeling old I guess. The gratitude part comes when I remind myself that to feel loss, you have to have had something to lose in the first place – so be grateful for that. As for the feeling old, well, at least I have the chance to get old.
And regret? Well, that’s just pointless. You are never going to avoid pain in this life, and if you try you will probably only end up avoiding joy. You will never manage to live your life so perfectly that you never regret paths taken or not taken, words said or not said. We make our choices and sometimes those choices mean that you give up some things – you follow one dream and miss out on another.
You can never avoid having to say goodbye. Whether for a day or forever. This is the way of things. We are all so busy these days, and the world is so full of possibilities, we are all running off in one direction or another. But goodbye doesn’t mean we forget the people who were important to us.
When I was a little girl, my grandfather lived in Alaska. I used to spend summers with him, in a little log cabin that you had to hike to get to. Very idyllic for a city kid like me to get to spend summers that way. I remember the hike as being one that went on for miles, but I also know that memory plays tricks on you – it could have been 100 feet.
Anyway, while hiking to his cabin we would walk past a stream and a wetland, in which grew all kinds of plants and wildflowers. He would teach me the names of them. My favorite was the Forget-me-not.
He told me that it was the state flower of Alaska, and also how it got its name. He said that in olden times, ladies would give this flower to their lovers when they went to war to remind them they were loved, and to come back when the war was over.
I liked the story and have always looked forward to seeing these flowers when they bloom in the spring. They remind me of people I have loved and will never forget, and they remind me of God who loves us and never forgets us either.
Prone to flights of fancy as I am, I am pretty sure it was God that made me notice them blooming on my bike ride today. It’s easy to miss them, they are so small. But I’ve been seeing them a lot lately. This is how He talks to me – a small flower here, the right words in a book or sermon there.
They make me grateful for love, and joy, and pain, and to have a chance just to be alive on this tiny blue planet spinning out in space. It’s easy to forget sometimes what a miracle that really is.