I first read Carolyn Studer’s writing when I joined an online group of women writers. Like her writing, Carolyn is honest and thoughtful. I have learned how to write about social justice in a manner that is accessible to all by reading her work. I am thrilled she was willing to share a gratitude post on my blog. I hope you will head over to her blog to read more of her work after you read this post. Thank you Carolyn for helping me look at small things in a new way.
THE POWER OF SMALL THINGS
When Denise asked me to write a Thanksgiving post — a letter to someone who had influenced my life in a positive way — so many people came to mind.
But I kept thinking about Alejandro, the young man who drove me and six other women all over San Miguel Allende, Mexico a few weeks ago, when we were on a personal growth retreat. So this letter of thankfulness is for him.
You were our driver for five days last week when we were on retreat in San Miguel Allende.
You drove us down the narrow, cobblestone streets of your beautiful city, to the pyramids in Teotihuacan where we learned about an ancient civilization, and to El Chargo de Ingenio, a sacred site near San Miguel Allende where the Indians gather once a month to celebrate and dance.
The silence there was so beautiful.
You waited for us while we walked through the botanical gardens, hiked on the steep trails above the deep ravine, and listened at the trail’s end to an exuberance of frogs at a nearby pond.
At the end of our time there — which, for me, was magic — several of us waited at the entrance of the gardens for the others to join us.
One of the members of our group was in tears as she talked about a recent and painful loss.
You came over and put your hand over her head, and stood there for a while, and prayed quietly.
This is not the kind of thing that happens in L.A.
Your sensitivity and willingness to share your gift with our sister touched us, and moved us.
Los Angeles is a huge city with millions of people where we focus so often on the big things — the Grammys and Oscars we win, our book launches, our big dreams and achievements.
While our dreams our worth pursuing, and our achievements worth celebrating, so often we forget about the power of small things, the small acts of kindness that bring meaning and purpose to our lives.
And that’s what I am thankful to you for this Thanksgiving — for reminding me of the power of small things — the warm smile of a stranger, the comforting touch someone who knows we are dealing with loss, the cup of tea we share with a close friend, and the words and acts of kindness that can change lives in an instant.
Little things I’ll give to you —
Till your fingers learn to press
On a loveliness;
Little things and new —
Til your fingers learn to hold
Love that’s fragile,
Love that’s old.
Happy Thanksgiving to you,
in Gratitude, Muchas Gracias,