My youngest son has spent a large part of the last several years backpacking through some of the farthest reaches of our wonderful world. He's stayed with impoverished families in their huts in not often traveled valleys and hilltops of many countries. He's shared meager meals of rice and roots that have been unfailingly offered by generous people who have little to share. He's seen both sadness and joy in the eyes of little children too soon grown old. He's been warmed by the welcome of men and women who could carry all they own in smaller bags than we use to carry home our weekly groceries.
He asked me the other day if I ever stopped to think about the things that I have enjoyed that much of the world has never even imagined....will never have a memory of. It was one of those "tsk, tsk, shame on me" times that brought me to my knees... literally... as I began to list a few small pleasures that so many will never know. Here are a few.
How many are there who have never:
toasted a marshmallow over a campfire
owned a pretty pair of earrings to pass down to their daughter
bent down to breathe in the fragrance of a rose growing in their own garden
wrapped a birthday present for their child
gone to grandma's house for Sunday dinner
beachcombed for sea glass, agates or sand dollars
tasted a fresh strawberry
known the deightful sight of hummingbirds gathered around a feeder
sat on the patio drinking hot cocoa under the stars
whispered secrets and giggled under a blanket with their best friend
held a chubby baby in their arms
My list is much longer than this. My basket is bountifully filled, and I am blessed. Not because I have a lovely home or leather upholstery in my car... not because I have a large variety of stores nearby filled with an abundance of wares, and the cash in my pocket to buy them. But, because I have so many small, tender moments filled with such sweetness. Because I know what a marvel it is to discover a small piece of blue glass washed and polished by the sea.
I would ask that if anyone reads this, they take a pen in hand and make a list of their own. It's a good thing for us to remember and reflect on those little, too often unnoticed, things that are precious in our lives.
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