Gratitude

Gratitude

I am immersed in a feeling of gratitude.  So many different events, people, and scenarios have come together to allow me to step into this place of creation.  In a way, my whole life has led me to this place.  Those times I was sent out to the garden as a kid to gather scallions for dinner or pick cucumbers off their prickly vines have led me here.  So did the days that I spent up in our willow tree, discovering that climbing barefoot made me much more secure in my footing.   Those pensive looks at my Oma’s beehive, stepping ever so closer to observe, but not willing to give up the fear of their stings, were a part of this path, unclear at the time, but so formative.  My Oma and Opa’s giant garden in Cleveland – their immigrant home – now inner city hood, still holds my memory to those days in the yard growing our dinners.  Those inconsequential things that created what is now my dream hold me in a cradle of thankfulness.

And recently, the amazing experience of working the past 15 years at the Stratford Ecological Center – and the serendipity of my life that even allowed me to be eligible for such a position.  It feels like it has all led to this place, this space in time. 

My website woman, Alice, just happened to have resigned from her own non-profit position to step out on her own as a web designer – and a mutual colleague just happened to share her website at the time that I was about to give up my search and settle for a stranger.  Amazing!  It fills me up like a balloon full of gratitude.  The serendipity of my dear friend Trista sharing her own walk  in entrepreneurship with a mentor, Christine Kane, who teaches specifically to women entrepreneurs with a purpose.  My finding exactly what I needed, when I needed it, is beyond words really and more into the realm of guidance. 

All of my paths, inclinations and preferences have come from the root of this family that I was gifted to be born into.  It just blows me away.  A father who can never give enough of his time and skills to others.  A mother full of creativity and service - who has given her life over on more than 3 occasions to a dying friend.  A sister who, despite insurmountable health obstacles, follows the lessons of Cat Stevens that she inspired in me as a teen and keeps a positive thankful-for-what-I-can-do attitude.  How on earth did I ever earn such blessings?  It fills me to no end with gratitude.

How, after mourning the Native American culture so thoroughly as a teen, did I find a Native elder willing to invite my family into ceremony, living out an inconceivable dream?  My gratitude for this is indescribable.

I also think of the gratitude for those non-human things that have sustained me.  Those actual scallions and cucumbers.  The soil that was my teacher.  The willow tree that was a dear and cherished friend.  The deer that often graces my dinner plate.  Earth itself has been my path, my mentor, and my colleague. 

In all the paths that brought me to where I am today, there were both human and non-human.  As I step away from my position at the Stratford Ecological Center after 15 years, I speak to the place.  And I find solace.  The place doesn’t mourn my loss.  It gives me only good energy and not regret.  It knows it is my time to move on and wishes me well, knowing I am its sister, always.

And so it is as I step into this great unknown of Bring the Farm to You.  I feel its direction and know with clarity that this is my path.  I feel the energy of the Earth and the energy of my connections propelling me forward and I can’t help but to be swept up in a wave of gratitude.  For each and every soul that has shared a kind word, or a word that has allowed me to grow; for the energies that have moved through me like a current, bringing forth more than was ever contained within; for the blessed gift of my very existence in this time and place – I am grateful.

Thank you, whoever you are, for your own energy into this project, however small or large, whether known or unknown – it has been important.  It is with gratitude that I offer to you what has been given to me to share.

Aho!  Namaste!  And Amen to this prayer of gratitude.  Life is a blessing.  I am so full of gratitude to be given this path.  May it grow into something that creates more and more paths of thanksgiving.

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