November 27,2014, San Diego- Buddha essentially instructed His followers to “want what you have”. Thankfulness for what already is, I have found, is also a springboard to the greater. I can look back on 2014, and look around at what is right in front of me, in recounting my blessings. As my sixty-fourth year winds to close, and I start the long countdown to Birthday 65, on Nov. 28, 2015, I give thanks for these:
A healthy, vibrant 26-year-old son, who has proven, time and again, that parenthood is one of the best investments of time, energy and resources that a person can ever make.
A body which, while looking every bit of its 64 years, nonetheless keeps up with the challenges I face-and craves more physical activity, in the form of hiking and my exercise regiment at Planet Fitness.
Having discovered essential oils. Not only have they helped overcome what few health challenges I have faced, over the past year, (most recently including a visit from Senor Streptococcus), but they are a vehicle for me to share holistic health practices with others, almost on a daily basis.
Having such a vibrant network of family and friends, both online and in real time. We spent maybe two hours on the phone today, all told, and spoke with each of my siblings, my two sisters-in-law and both mothers. I’m sure my dear soul mate and our Dads were listening in, from the other side of the fence.
Having had a wealth of enriching experiences this past year: Hiking in places like Seven Falls in Tucson; Bill Williams Mountain; Cave Creek and parts of the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail; touring Kartchner Caverns; being on Utah Beach, Normandy, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day; visiting the ruins of the church where my paternal ancestors were baptized, in Rouen, France; paying homage to St. Jeanne d’Arc, at the sites of her imprisonment and immolation; seeing several of the great sites in Paris, Mont St. Michel, Amiens, Brussels, Brugge, Ghent, Luxembourg, Heidelberg and Frankfurt; paying respects to the heroes of the Battle of the Bulge, in Bastogne; getting the chilling reminder of my late father-in-law’s wartime suffering, while visiting the ruins of the POW camp, where he was held prisoner, in Berga, Germany; enjoying 1 1/2 days in Honolulu; sailing from that lovely city to San Diego, aboard my son’s ship and two trips to San Diego and other parts of southern California, besides.
Feeling ever more confirmed in my faith, and seeing how Baha’i helps those who place trust in God transcend the urge to conform to the prevailing sentiments of our larger society- Materialism, nationalism, racism and outmoded traditions. The journey of the spirit is an endless one, and I feel like I’m just getting started, even after the passage of 33 years as a Baha’i.
The year ahead is looking to be equally busy and fulfilling; stay tuned.