Fresh out of bed while making coffee I decided today’s blog would be about gratitude for simple things. In my mind was thankfulness for small, relatively insignificant and usually overlooked reasons to be grateful. In my thoughts was stuff like the sweet taste of strawberry ice cream and how good velvet feels to touch or the smell of wisteria in bloom and smiling at old people and seeing them smile back.
As is my routine in the morning, I come to the computer to begin to check email while the coffee is brewing. My habit was unchanged today, but checking email turned out to be a moving experience. First I was humbled beyond words when the one in my heart wrote you are an inspiration for the determination and strength with which you face and conquer your challenges at work and in life, never forgetting to also show and spread kindness.
Living in such a manner is my everyday ambition, but in the desiring and doing I rarely notice if achievement happens. Rather my state of being is mostly in the doing of the moment while hesitant to look at what I have just done fearing I will dwell on some imperfection or failure that might manifest. It was pleasantly startling to read what my love had written to me. My first thought was “does she not know what an inspiration to others she is?”
As I returned from the kitchen with my first cup of coffee, three other emails awaited me. One from an old friend of 25+ years. Roger lives in Denver and wrote telling me about the ten inches of snow on the ground there and it was still coming down. In contrast I wrote him about the 60′s in January we are enjoying just 700 miles away. He and I exchange a short email of a line or so every single day and have for years. Beginning each morning with word from Roger has become a depended upon and important part of my morning.
The third email came from a self-help group friend who has a special way of expressing himself. He calls himself “Still Bill” at the meetings and has a way of touching me deeply with what he has to say. This quote from J. Krishnamurti’s “The Book of Life” filled the email he sent last night:
Self-knowledge comes into being when we are aware of ourselves in relationship… Relationship is a mirror in which to see ourselves as we actually are. But most of us are incapable of looking at ourselves as we are in relationship, because we immediately begin to condemn or justify what we see. We judge, we evaluate, we compare, we deny or accept, but we never observe actually what is, and for most people this seems to be the most difficult thing to do; yet this alone is the beginning of self-knowledge. Thanks Bill. Through knowing you I have a little clearer view of myself.
Then the fourth email took up the most time this morning. The note was from Cindy, a cherished friend of many years who sent along a link to a video by now eleven year-old singer Jackie Evancho. I had seen a performance of hers on youtube.com before and was blown away then that such a voice could emanate from just a little girl.
By the time I became aware of Jackie Evamcho she had already been the best-selling debut artist of 2010 and the youngest top-10 debut artist in history. The first time I saw her sing online was just about the time Billboard ranked her the top Classical Albums Artist for 2011. On November 7, 2011, Jackie became the youngest person ever to give a solo concert at Lincoln Center in New York. She will be twelve years old in April.
I ended up sitting at my desk this morning sipping coffee with filling gratitude that I have wonderful people who care about me and show it. When I clicked on the link in the fourth email and Jackie Evancho began to sing, pure tears of joy ran down my face. What a wonderful way to start my day: Some dear to be close in spirit and in my heart with a little “angel” singing to me. I am deeply grateful.
A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
See, hear and learn about Jackie Evancho:
(Interview with David Foster and Jackie)
(singing a song her uncle wrote)
(singing “Angel”, a personal favorite and theme song of sorts for my life)