Saturday, March 15, 2008

Don't Take It for Granted

I beg your indulgence as I get on my soap box for just a bit this morning, clearly the fault of our good friend Joan.

She called yesterday afternoon as she and husband Aaron were traveling north and homing in following their three month sojourn in Mexico, a trip they make each year as the rains of the Pacific northwest persist.

"Hello friend!", she said. "We come back from three months of sunshine into rain!"

We laughed and talked briefly of the fun they had, the unexpected brake problem while being south of the border, our experience when we returned home from Florida at the end of January and which I wrote about on this blog, and the status and current maintenance of our gardens. Of course we must speak of the garden!

Somewhere amidst all of that she said, "We crossed the border into the U.S., and I cried."

"You cried because you didn't want to leave or because you were happy to be back?" I asked.

"Oh! Happy to be back!"

Truer words cannot be spoken, as it brought me to the very first time I traveled outside our country to Europe, a wonderful education and truly remarkable experience to see how another part of the world lived. For that I was thankful, but as I passed through customs and was welcomed back into the United States of America, finding the appropriate words to describe an overwhelming emotion does not come easily, only felt. I wanted to kiss the soil upon which we walked.

With any subsequent travel to Mexico and Europe and return, that feeling of gratefulness is always there. How fortunate we are to live in this country, be who we are and fought so hard to achieve. How critical it is for us to preserve and not relinquish that which we have accomplished!

This article by Craig R. Smith is worthy of your time.

And another you might enjoy:

Here is a wish: that any person who has never traveled outside the U.S., has an opportunity to do so in order to experience that there exists something outside ourselves. . . to see what they have or do not. . . understand the hardship and lifestyle of others. . . attempt to recognize those things about which they are grateful or have concern. . . and have a basis for comparison.

I do believe it is the responsibility of each of us - to understand - and not take for granted just how blessed we are.