30 Days of Thanks Day 14 – Guest Post by Carolyn Studer

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.


Image of a stalk of flowers with a blue sky and puffy white clouds in the background.
Photo by Beate Walden.

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.

Dearest Alejandro,

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.

Image of dessert scrub walking path with deep blue sky and white clouds. Women are walking on the path.
Photo by Beate Walden.

You waited for us while we walked through the botanical gardens, hiked on the steep trails above the deep ravine, and listened at the trails 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.

Photo of a Mexican man holding his hand in prayer over the head of a Caucasian woman who has her head bowed. A blond Caucasian woman looks at them through sunglasses.

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 thats 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.

Photo of a group of six Caucasian women in casual clothing standing with two Mexican men in front of a stone building.
Our group with Alejandro, the fourth from the left. (That’s me in the red.)


Little things Ill give to you

Till your fingers learn to press


On a loveliness;

Little things and new

Til your fingers learn to hold

Love thats fragile,
Love thats old.

Marion Strobel

Happy Thanksgiving to you,

in Gratitude, Muchas Gracias,


7 thoughts on “30 Days of Thanks Day 14 – Guest Post by Carolyn Studer

  1. It is important to remember how important small gestures of compassion are to the one who receives them. I was so touched by Alejandro’s quiet way of comforting another in her loss. Carolyn, you did a beautiful job with your letter of appreciation. I hope Alejandro feels blessed by your words.


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