Grateful

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” Anne Frank

I use this blog to rant at length about various topics. Not solely, but I can, and do, go on at times. I’m sure you’ve noticed. Many things seemed to bug me in 2014. From violence against women, to police brutality, to displaced refugees, to stupid political moves, it was difficult not to become disheartened with some of the events that transpired last year. I’m not sure I made sense of it all, but writing helped me figure out what I was thinking. This led to lots of good discussions with friends and family, which kept me engaged. And being engaged makes me feel as though I’m doing something.

As 2015 begins, it’s a good time to reflect. Oh, don’t worry. I’m not going to regurgitate the year’s past calamities. I want to take a different approach. I’d like to list some of the good things that happened to me in 2014. So, as I do every year, I consulted my gratefulness journal. The few lines I write at the end of each day remind me of the goodness in the world.

Some of the big ticket items that made it into my journal include: the strangers who fed and took us in when we found ourselves without electricity or heat on Gabriola Island on a stormy weekend in February; the friends we hiked the Chilkoot trail with in August; the participants and guest authors who continued to support the little festival that could (October) to such a level that we broke attendance records for the twelfth straight year, the six glorious weeks I spent in Greece doing what I love (writing and research) in a place I love with people and a culture I love.

In and amongst these journal entries there were smaller occurrences that would have gone unnoticed if I hadn’t taken the time to write them down. There were people who took the time to read my novel and send me notes of support. People who stopped to give me directions when I looked lost (happens often). Others reached out to talk about some of the things I’d written about in my blog.

And it didn’t stop there. One of my grandchildren picked out a book she wanted me to read because she thought I’d like it and knew it would be something we could discuss. She’s seven. She put it in a special folder (hearts and flowers and fields of green) she made just for me. Another grandchild whispered in my ear, ‘trust yourself’, when we were playing a game and I couldn’t make a decision. She’s five. Makes you hopeful for our world, doesn’t it?

Big or small the subtle was the common denominator that stood out in my journal in 2014: friendship, kindness, support, acceptance and generosity. You might wonder: who provides all of this? People. People with good hearts.

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