I’ve been thinking a lot about gratitude this week…
I do that, in times of recent tragedy, loss and overwhelm. I also find myself yearning for good memories. This week I thumbed through albums (yes, the paper kind) and even updated frames with more recent photos of the kids. Btw, I think they are growing at lightening speed. And I reflect. What was I doing this month two years? Three? Five? Thank you Google Photos for helping answer that question so easily. As I wandered down memory lane this week I came across the photo above. It was taken June 7, 2017. My 36th birthday. Also the day we finished our month long journey of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain with our then 18 month old son. It seems so long ago, yet the memories are fresh in my mind. I can feel the heaviness of my hiking shoes, my sweaty shirt, the curiosity in my mind of how we would spend our last few days in Spain before traveling home. Honestly, I don’t remember what kind of hotel or hostel we stayed in that night. I don’t recall what we ate for my birthday dinner. But I do remember feeling comfortable, confident, and well in the world. We had just experienced a month of moving from place to place traveling on foot, bus, train and taxi. We stayed at hostels, hotels, houses, and pensions. We ate at grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and from street vendors. We had spent four weeks relying on one another and trusting strangers who became friends. The feeling of completing this excursion in a different country, in a foreign language, (with a toddler!) and with so many other unknowns felt, well, amazing.
I will hold on to that feeling whenever life feels like way too much. I will go back to that memory when it feels INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT to trust the world around me. I will flip through these photos, both physically and digitally, when my body and soul are yearning for confidence in myself and in others. And I will strive to teach my children, by example, to live as best as we can with hope in our hearts for ourselves and the world around us.