by Christine Sine
My gratitude scavenger hunt seems to be rather out of kilter, which is OK because the suggestions I put together are not meant to be set in concrete. They are meant to enrich, refresh and nourish us. That is what gratitude does.
This week I have focused on gratitude for friends and it has sent my thoughts and imagination floating back through memories of so many that have enriched my life bringing smiles, support, comfort and delight at every turn
Today is Canadian Thanksgiving so not surprisingly this is where my journey into gratitude begins. We have often spent Canadian Thanksgiving with good friends Tom and Kim and it was their invitations that initiated my “month of gratitude” practice. It was Kim who taught me to play again. As an expressive arts therapist also started me on the journey into creative practices like reading children’s books, doodling, and beach combing. She was much of the inspiration behind the writing of The Gift of Wonder. Tom has also been a great inspiration, encouraging my addictions to photography and gardening and inspiring wonderful, joy filled adventures throughout British Columbia.
Then my thoughts travelled on to Australia where I will be in November and I was reminded of my friend Louise who I went to medical school with. We have been friends for 50 years and have shared many adventures around the world.
From there I travelled to Portland and Texas, to my good friends Cheryl and Ruth, friends who are closer than sisters. I roomed with them when I first joined the Anastasis and their friendship has seen me through many a challenging situation. Our friendship has grown into something very special over the years and I am eternally grateful.
Not far from Portland, in Hood River lives another good friend – Andy. He worked with me in Mustard Seed Associates, strengthened and encouraged my leadership and opened new avenues of contemplative gardening for me.
Then back here to Seattle where I think of Mark and Anna, generous supporters of Tom’s and my ministry and good personal friends who have opened their historic mansion for many wonderful celebrations of life over the years.
The list goes on and on. I am blessed with friends all over the world. Some of them I rarely see, but it seems that when we encounter each other our special bonds hold us together in amazing ways. There are others that are no longer with us, but they too hold a very special place in my heart and look back at the ways they too laughed and cried with me, danced and played with me over the years. So much gratitude I feel that my heart is about to burst.
Gratitude for friends has brought a delight to my heart and a joy to my life this weekend. My book of gratitudes lies open before me as I type this and my heart is full.
I hope that you too will take time to remember friends for whom you are grateful today.
Sit prayerfully and look back over your life or pull out your photos and scroll through those of friends allowing memories to surface. Savour them. Journal about them. Thank God for them. Perhaps a phone call or a letter expressing your gratitude is necessary. I know I will be on the phone this afternoon connecting to some of these special people.
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One wonderful thing I experience when I see a friend like you write about is that when we meet again: even when we are apart for a long time: It is like we met yesterday.when we converse like an addition beginning when we last visited together.
That is so true Herbert. It is amazing. Time is stopped. Friendship spans the years in very special ways.