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Of hummingbirds, gifts and gratitude

This is the time of the year when I am tired. So gratitude becomes especially important!

Last week I was running late getting to the office because I had taken an unexpected call and I was in a hurry to get to the office. On my way to the car, I remembered that this was going to be one of the hot days and I thought it best not to forgo watering my succulents in anticipation of one of our very hot days when a hummingbird flew into the hose stream. As I watered, the pair of birds flew in and out, spraying the water as they entered and left, entered and left quenching their thirst. The water magnified their colors and it was quite the site to see them in their splendor—a gift that was given again and again as they danced with the drops.

This moment was possible because I was running late, something which had caused me stress and concern a moment before. The hummingbirds aren’t interested in getting wet at the unsacred hour in which I often water. And the sun is not at the angle where I would have seen the dance of water on their backs. So all of this was made possible because of—or at best in spite of—contingencies.

This week coming home, I found the gift of this drawing on the chalkboard door of my pantry. Over the years, this has been a place for the more talented among us to leave artistic gifts—I am not one of them and yet we are privileged that so many in our family circle are. I repainted this as a whiteboard in the winter and it has been decidedly unadorned—so much so that I filled the top of it with crude multicolored stars in the spring. That plus a list of all the tricks and cue words for each dog was all the art we have had. Until Wednesday.. This pretty image greeted me after a long day when I was coming home and tired and it brightened my evening. Unexpected, it was also a gift.

This Sunday we will take a little time to reflect on gratitude and those who make it possible. For me, this has been a week of many gifts—for what are you grateful?

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