"'Thank you' is the best prayer anyone could say." -- Alice Walker
This year I give thanks for many things.
I give thanks for family, both immediate and extended. I am grateful for parents who trust me and allow me to follow my heart and my dreams--even when it takes me away from them. I am grateful for siblings who always make me laugh and who brighten my life with their kindness and friendship. I am grateful for an aunt, uncle, and cousins who invited me to Thanksgiving with their family.
I give thanks for friends, both old and new. For friends around the world--from Oxford, England to Salt Lake City, Utah. For the beauty of connection and communication--whether it be over an email exchange, a FaceTime call, or looking into the light and understanding of another's eyes and smile. Those times when you feel completely comfortable and find those who take you as you are and believe in all you can be.
I give thanks for an education. For culminating my undergraduate experience at BYU. And for starting a new chapter at Oxford. I give thanks for a healthy body and an active mind which drinks in the world. For hands that keep asking for more. I give thanks for a heart that can't seem to give up hope--either for my own world or the greater world around me.
I give thanks for experience . . . and the wisdom that comes from that experience. I give thanks for second chances, third chances--is there really a statute of limitations on how many chances we get? Only if we give up.
I give thanks for light, both temporal and spiritual. Sunlight that pierces through the grey of December. Blue skies. Light that touches your face and finds a place in your heart, allowing you to breathe. Twinkle lights, fairy lights, all kinds of lights that keep hope alive on dark winter days. Light which fills your soul.
"For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile." --Elie Wiesel
* I meant to post this in November/right after Thanksgiving. That obviously didn't happen (it's the end of term--I'm drowning just a bit). Better late than never, right?*
** And I meant to get this post done before I went to Moscow. Also didn't happen. Oh, well.**