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This time on this Earth

I know this much is true: I feel grateful every, single day for all of you in my life. I am grateful for this life; no matter how hard it has been at times; I am truly grateful.

I am grateful my lungs take in air, my heart pumps my blood and those things allow me to be a person on this earth. Somedays I forget to be grateful of these facts, other days, something amazing happens allowing my gratitude to be compounded by 1,000.

I love the compounded by 1,000 days. Those days when the elements of my life come together in an amazing gratitude vortex ; I walk around with a silly grin on my face.

I am so stinkin’ lucky be alive.

Those days are my elixir, a tonic for harder days.

Happily, as I get older, the compounded by 1,000 days show up more often. Perhaps I search for them more, perhaps the nuances of my life allow me to see them a bit more clearly.

Last summer, I rafted the Grand Canyon with my Hubs’ family. This was not my first trip down the Colorado.  15 years prior, I rafted half the river and hiked out of Bright Angel with my mom, stepdad and brother.

It’s hard not to fall in love with that area. The beauty is raw, untouched and dangerous. Canyon walls touch the sky exposing billion of years of our earth’s evolution. One floats through 75 miles of canyonland, small, realizing how fleeting life can be.

My brother fell in love with that Canyon, like he does with all wild lands. I think he was a bear in his past life.

Last summer I was looking forward to my trip but like everything gets in the way. I landed from a business trip the night before we left, packed in a rush and monitored my business email as we drove towards Utah.

My brother wrote me an email:

“Sis, don’t forget to explore the Little Colorado, stop at Elves Chasm and hang on at Lava Rapids! Look up! Look down! Have a great time. I loved the Canyon!”

I read this and got tears in my eyes. My brother bear can no longer do this trip because mitochondrial disease is a sick, selfish ass.

“Stop,” I told myself as I was frantically trying to answer another work email.

“Look.”

“Remember this time.”

“Be in this life.”

And so I left my phone in car and jumped in a raft.

The River Crew! I am the shortest person in the group!

The first night I woke up to an amazing roar. It was the Colorado, charging down the canyon. I looked up to a cascade of stars framed against the black of the canyon walls. The Milky Way actually looked Milky! There were so many shooting stars, I ran out of wishes. I laid in my sleeping bag feeling infinitely small against this amazing universe.

And I started to cry.

Hubs woke up. “Are you okay?”

“It’s so beautiful. It is so beautiful. We’re so lucky to be here.”

He patted my leg.

“I am just so grateful for this life. To be here, in the Grand Canyon. With you.”  

Sooooooo schmaltzy, right??? But so true. There are not enough words in this language to explain the overwhelming sense of love and appreciation I had for that moment. That moment that is my life.

I am so stinkin’ lucky to be alive

Loss has made me appreciate what is left. When what is left is nurtured, fed and loved, it grows into its own beauty. The beauty will never be what was anticipated, the beauty will always house the loss. But it is beautiful, unexpected and rare in its very own way.

Look around at your table tomorrow; the beauty of a meal, being fed, surrounded by Loves, or maybe surrounded by Likes, make a Like a Love.

And think for a quick moment, I am so stinkin’ lucky just so lucky to be alive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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