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Little or much: What is the real blessing?

Last night I sat down on my porch as the sun was slipping down softly into her dusky sleep. It was chilly, May not having found her warmth like June, and I threw a jacket over myself to stay warm. The worn cushions wrapped me into them, bringing me a comfortable place to ponder the week ahead. Thereís no other place to consider the coming minutes of my life quite like my front porch. Surrounded by my chipped pots filled with purple blossoms, and the raucous chirping of birds that call that small space their home, I settled in and let my mind wander and collect.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday all blurred together in a vicious swirl of what needs done. I call it vicious because it comes at you, and either youíre ready to dance with it, or you get swept under by it.

My mind drifted to the many words and pictures I must gather for my clients. I thought of posts, deftly created and readied so they stay current and seen. I envisioned my table space that I work at with a steamy cup beside me and knew I would be ready. I thought about the words I wanted to type for you all, coming to me early on a given morning of my choosing and typing them swiftly on the blank page to form cohesive sentences. Contained in the shifting days will also be the mountain of eggs Iíll scramble, salted and peppered, to be served along with buttery toast.

Iíll also wipe a toilet bowl and make sure we donít run out of clean underwear, knowing my working washer and dryer will do the job itís meant for. The moments of my life spin continually, and I think on them carefully on my cold, May porch as the full moon and Mars become visible in the starry sky. As the phrase so often is typed and hash-tagged, I should say that Iím blessed.

Call it centering, praying or throwing up a lifeline to the heavens, but these silent moments speak life into me, pulling the frayed edges together so it doesnít unravel completely. So many moments and minutes of our lives contain special times and things, people and faces. I used to consider these a tiny wrapped gift from God that was meant just for me. A smooth rock found and pocketed, words someone speaks that are a balm to a ragged soul or a sale at the store on just the thing you needed to stock up on. I donít believe they are random, and I smile inwardly knowing they were put there just for the time and space I needed them. I really donít consider myself blessed to receive them yet simply acknowledge the fact that they were put there for me.

Do you receive blessings each and every day? Or has that word reached the ultimate zenith of its meaning?

I think of my mother-in-law who makes her home in the dusty hills surrounding Mexico City. She gets up to make coffee in a house that looks nothing like ours. Her water is scooped out of a barrel and poured into a tin container and set to boil. Pouring the hot water into a cup, she stirs a teaspoon of dried granules into the cup along with a hefty portion of cane sugar, strong and rich. She takes a sip and smiles.

Her surroundings are nothing like mine. There are no soft cushions to hold her and ease the bones that have taken her into her 70s. She braids her long hair, only now showing strands of gray, and readies herself for the minutes of her day, which include laundry by hand and hot water for washing dishes that must be boiled. She might make a trip several streets over to buy a bag of half a dozen eggs and maybe a kilo of tortillas to eat with the pot of beans sheís set to cook. She considers herself to be blessed with life, children and a home to sleep in.

In my comfortable deck chair, I challenge myself to understand what blessing means. Is it a job that fills up our day, food in the refrigerator to eat and the ease of a soft cushion for your tired bones at night? Would the same things feel like a blessing? Or would they simply feel like the way our lives play out if we had and said less about what weíve been given? As I gathered myself up and looked one more time around the porch, a place of peace I love, I realize that I can find this anywhere. My mother-in-law finds it and complains far less than lots of us do. We throw away things that we think are done being useful and utter with the same lips how blessed we are to buy newer, fancier things. Are we blessed to live in this great country because of whatís available to us? Or are people in other countries not blessed because of what they donít have access to? I canít count the times people have told one of my loved ones how lucky they are to live here. I question this. If we canít say that others are blessed with their meager yet rich existence, then maybe we are the ones that are missing the real blessings.

Published: May 30, 2016
New Article ID: 2016705309993