I know you never put more on us then we can bear, but this year has been filled with challenges. If I had to pick a word for what I have learned this year, it would be tenacity. I have learned to have the determination to rise about difficult circumstances. It does not mean it has been easy, but I am making myself rise. I am finding the strength within myself to keep on going.
There have been days when I felt so deeply and did see my own strength, but I would remember to release the fears that were obscuring my vision. You found your way of reminding me to be like the Tree of Heaven, the tree Betty Smith wrote about in her novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. She wrote, “Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first time or last time. Then your time on Earth will be filled with joy.”
As we said goodbye to loved ones, two legged and four legged, you reminded us to look at each other as if it were for the first time and even after all these years we found hidden treasures in each other, we had not seen before.
In the last few months, where we have had mounting expenses for home repairs we could not put off balanced by my having virtually no income for three months and a now empty savings account, you reminded us to see the gift of having saved that money for just a time as this.
Like the Nolans, in Smith’s novel, you helped me find ways to enjoy life and satisfy my wants and needs. You have helped me find peace in music, reminders about growth and gratitude from the tall, graceful grass on the berm which seems to always be praising you. You have taught me to be like the tree in Smith’s novel and fight for what is necessary for my survival.
You taught me not to give in and to move beyond all expectations. When I began to fear losing something I had worked so hard for, you reminded me to have faith and release the fear. You found a way to remind me I would always have what I need. The birds came to remind me to fly freely, knowing my prayers would be answered
So today, I want to thank you for reminding me to stand like the tree of heaven, which grew against all odds in this little borough of Brooklyn. Thank you for allowing me to see things as they are right in this moment, not clothing them in the past or the future. When I strip away the filters of memories, then I begin to see each moment for what it is and experience it as if it were the first or last moment in time.
When I hold on and see things through this lens of preciousness, then I begin to see the reflections of heaven on earth, the gifts and beauty otherwise obscured by the emotions and fears. I experience your love without being blanketed in fear.
Thank you for always allowing me to experiencing you anew