This here is a long post. All about growing up and what defines our very selves.

3 03 2020

Sometimes I wonder how deep the seeds of our youth are planted in our very cells. Moments that are embedded within our bodies, our hearts, our very souls. The tendrils rise up, hidden, or maybe seen, to blossom or rot, depending on the very action that planted them.

I was added to a Facebook page last week. One where everyone who had grown up together in Sparwood could share memories of our mutual youths. I read a few posts over a couple of days: of parties, and gatherings and places, and for the most part, couldn’t for the very life of me identify with many people reminiscing. I don’t recall many of the people nor many of the Norman Rockwell moments they were all sharing. I mean, I remember a lot of stuff about the small coal-mining town I lived in from 1974 to 1989, but I am not sure how much is skewed with emotion or blocked by my own self-preservation defenses.

I was private messaging a couple friends and I said that I wanted to say something on that page that it wasn’t a fucking walk in the garden and my one friend messaged me back with two words. “Do it”. And that was all that I needed.

Verbatim:

This is an interesting page. I’ve read a lot of the fond memories that evoke a utopian sense of a Norman Rockwell upbringing in the Elk Valley. But for many, it wasn’t such a blissful existence. I, among many others, were bullied and picked on for being “different”. I personally had girls picking fights with me, spreading rumors about me and generally making my life not that pleasant throughout high school. I recall being called an ugly f*cking mutt. I also had one particular English teacher make overt sexual comments about me that would get him fired nowadays. I had good friends, thank goodness, that saw me through the hard times. But it was NOT all rainbows and daisies folks. If you didn’t fit the cookie cutter Sparwood persona, you were an automatic outcast, and let me tell you, that was tough to navigate. I’m truly happy that so many have wonderful memories of this town, and I do have many good times I recall as well, but let’s not paint it with a sweeping rose-coloured mindset. By no means do I intend to offset this page’s intentions… I only want to remind everyone of the truth and if I receive any harassment that is more a reflection on that person than myself. I also want to add that I too was not innocent. I played my own part in contributing to the bullying mentality and I want to extend my heart and honest apologies to all I hurt when we were kids.

I was a little nervous about hitting that send button, because, well, you never know what fall-out will land on your lap. I’ve been on Twitter long enough to know this well. I went to bed and read for a bit, and I couldn’t help myself. I checked the post and was blown away at the comments I found. Most of them were positive, supportive and echoed my very own experiences. I felt relieved, and vindicated that YES, I wasn’t crazy. That my experiences growing up were beyond shitty and SO MANY others had the same experiences.

And then, I got another private message from someone. She told me that the way I treated her was part of the reason why she had a terrible time in school.

Oh my god. I sat, reading that, stunned but not shocked. Yes, I did. I treated her, among others so terribly. I immediately responded, apologizing and acknowledging my own addition to the recipe of this toxic childhood we were all in. Yet, oddly enough, I often felt ostracized and excluded by her and my other friends at times. Do they remember this? How their own actions affected others?

I saw another comment on my post from someone else who adamantly insisted that the “bullying mentality” of Sparwood was extremely toxic, much more so than other towns. I read comments about racism and bigotry. I read comments from people who bullied as well.

I started to allow myself the process of digesting it. I believe I had buried so much in my own mind and body that I have never allowed myself to truly acknowledge the damage that was caused. Even my own friends treated me with disdain at times, this had the result of making me feel like I was less than nothing, no one important. I laid in bed allowing the emotion of all of this that it was bringing up to wash over me.

With my 48 year old eyes and wisdom, I allowed myself to delve into my own tortured past.

I was bullied relentlessly. I spent weekends alone, just me and my music to offset the angst I felt. Poems of suicide flung from my fingers in some sort of desperate reach for validation. Friends ignored me, while they went to parties I was never going to be invited to. I had eggs thrown at my head. I was called a slut, a whore, a pig. It was whispered that I was fucking the hockey team, even though I had never had sex. Books were knocked out of my arms while I walked to class, with whispers of threats that made my blood run cold. My stomach flared from my nerves. I could barely deal with facing that gauntlet some days. I faced my worst fear at the end of grade 11 when a group of girls who were gunning for me circled around me at a town-sponsored event. It ended in a fist-fight. I recall, vaguely, when the instigator threw a punch, and in a fog, the sound of my fist hitting her cheek.

And yet, I also bullied relentlessly. In some sort of desperate way to ingratiate myself to others, I treated people exactly how I hated to be treated. Hearing the approval through laughter from my friends when I would say something to some other kid never made me realize the irony of my actions. I only felt glad I was “part of the gang”. I employed everything I could to not be that targeted kid. I know now what I didn’t know then. It really was a world rampant with clichés. A dog-eat-dog world, kill or be killed. Bully or be bullied.

We may not remember what we did to others, but we do recall what others did to us. Those seeds I talked about? They grew, perhaps out of sight, as we became adults and went to school and married and had kids.

And then, at odd times, we noticed what those seeds became. For me, they grew into a deeply-rooted sense that I don’t belong, that I do not matter and that I am nothing. Echoes of this from the past reach into my here and now and still.. STILL they harbour a perception that I am not truly worthy. It begs the question, what have MY actions in the past created in those I targeted?

Days later, I saw another post from a girl who mentioned my previous post and admitted that she was that bully, one who channeled her anger onto others. Textbook really, a child who didn’t know any better. And her post elicited another private message from someone who applauded my bravery to say what I did, and that she wavered on saying something too, but that she suffered for years under the toxic rule of thumb that hovered over where we grew up.

I finally allowed myself to grieve. To grieve over my own shattered bits of self-worth, and others who may finally begin to process how damaging these acts truly are to our sweet souls. And to remember that our pasts define us, they create who we are today and we cannot and should not sweep that under the carpet of “kids will be kids”. Actions leave scars and sometimes, those scars show up decades later.





Liquid Savasana

23 08 2019

This morning dawned with a late August softness, a sky drawn with stretched clouds and a stillness that beckoned me from my intended plans. My regular Friday chores could wait I decided, as I put my paddleboard on my car rack and drove down to the Bay.

There, the water greeted me, still as glass, its molten pewter tones marrying the reflection of the blues and greys of the skies above. In silence, I launched, the only sounds the drips from the paddle as I drew myself along the shoreline. I was in no hurry, indulging in the sweetness of no agenda. I chose to head north, along the cliffs of Queens Bay, where kayaks and gazebos and canoes are tucked into ledges beneath the homes that stand watch far above.

I paddled along the edge of the rocks, seeing glimpses of fish hugging the drop-off. Giant boulders lay beneath the surface, tumbled from the face of the cliffs eons ago, precariously balanced on edges. The water fades from crisp clarity to a greenish blur until there is nothing but darkness. Sometimes it fades with jumbles of rocks, sometimes it’s a sheer face of an immersed cliff. The morning sun was perfectly aligned for seeing the magic beneath me. It’s always a wonder, a slightly unnerving one, when you realize how deep this lake really is. When you can go from five feet to over 200 feet deep in one single stroke of the paddle.

The ferry wake reached me at one point, the waves were gentle rollers, hitting me broadside and challenging my balance. I admit I might have whispered “Weeeeee” as I rolled with them. They pushed up against the cliffs, rippling and creating a moiré effect of the sky’s reflection, a fleeting Impressionist painting of jagged rocks and gnarled trees clinging to the rocks above me.

A kayaker greeted me in silence, we merely smiled and nodded without marring the quiet with unnecessary sound. As I returned, and rounded the corner, a brace of Mergansers rose from their underwater group feeding, their crests flashing brilliant ochre in the morning light. They looked surprised to see me, a few of them giving me a side-eye to make sure I was no threat to them. They quacked, murmuring mollification to one another. I stood still on my board to give them the space they needed and watched them until they dove under again.

I indulged in laying on my board in the middle of the Bay for a few minutes, my hands on either side of me, cupping water and pouring it through my fingers, a liquid savasana.

I think I could have stayed there forever, in that peace. In that quiet. In that embrace of a late August morning. This will see me through until next year, I believe, those moments of pure stillness, draped over me like a silk sheet. I have tucked it away into my heart, to revel in at any time when I need to.





Swan dive.

19 07 2019

We gathered down at the beach late Friday afternoon, drinks in hand, and sat with the vista of the north end of the lake set before us like freshly painted art, the mountains arced on each side, fading from greenish gray to the far off hues of deep blues. We laughed, visited and caught up with each other, setting the tone for the girls weekend before us.

I admit I was eyeing up the dock long before my sister whispered into my ear. Even though it was on the cooler side, I’m generally not one to miss out an opportunity to plunge into Kootenay Lake. None of us had our suits on, however, but when Kim subtly nudged me and suggested we jump off the dock, swimsuits were not a concern of mine. Winning, however, was.

We ran onto the dock while the girls on the beach hooted and hollered. While I ran, I stripped off my shorts and top, intent on winning the race AND launching myself off the dock in what I hoped would be a graceful, perfectly executed dive into the water. Right down to straight legs and pointed toes.

I stole a quick glance behind me and saw I was clearly in the lead. Full speed, I ran, with the edge of the dock a mere eight feet away, and the cool blue-gray waters of the lake beckoning me like a sweet lover.

That was when my left foot collided with the pointy edge of a metal boat cleat… And I went sprawling, catching my right foot under me with enough instinctual presence to flounder rather than fall. I windmilled in an attempt to prevent a full naked body skid along a very slivery aged dock and instead, launched off the edge in a frenzy of arms and legs, and, also, I daresay, bare bum in the air, and spectacularly bellyflopped into the lake.

I came up, sputtering and coughing to see my sister bent over in absolute hysterics. She managed to ask if I was okay in between bouts of guffaws. I climbed the ladder and stood in all my glory, dripping wet, gave my audience on the beach a loud WOOOOOO-HOOOO and then looked down at my foot. It… well it wasn’t broken, but it was instantly swollen and rather pinkish-red. Not a speck of toe nail polish remained on three of my toes. The polish was, as we discovered the next day, embedded in the boards as three long purple streaks, as if to say “Kris was here… and here… and here…”

It could have ended badly, but I’d rather not think about that. I’d rather think about how I provided a good laugh for my friends and I also that I WON.

 





Lois.

8 07 2019

She was more than a bit long in the tooth, to say the least. A bit grungy, a bit worn.  A lock that needed persuasive urging to open. A tinge of long-ago smoked cigarettes greeted us as we opened the door to our weekend getaway AirBnB in Surrey. Lois The Motor Home was the 1980’s rode-hard-and-put-away-wet version of a unique (so we thought) funky and inexpensive place to stay after we dropped the kids off at their own place as we prepared for a fun and epic festival and shopping-filled weekend away.

Jill and I looked at each other, and burst out laughing as we entered the old motor home parked on a beautiful property just on the border of Whiterock. It was quiet and forested, with a hot tub and pool for us to use whenever we wanted. When we mutually decided to book it, we thought, Hey, what a fun adventure…. “camping” in the city!! Why not?!

We unloaded our car and set about planning our days ahead of us. This was when we discovered the owners didn’t exactly hold up their end of the traditional AirBnB bargain of supplying the basic necessities of… well…. normal life.

No toilet paper. Two towels. No garbage can/bags. No dish soap. Minimal dishes. Nary a broom to be found. NO BOTTLE OPENER.  Jill messaged the owner with our concerns and someone brought us two rolls of TP and some soap with a couple squeezes at the very bottom to do dishes with.

But hey, sometimes you’re faced with these situations and there’s not much else to do other than laugh about it and deal with the status quo. We made due at the time. The next morning we found the shower head was more intent on facing the wall instead of, you know… OUR ACTUAL BODIES. The water puddled on the floor under our feet with no way of being absorbed because… you know TWO TOWELS and all. The fuse blew every time we tried to blow dry our hair. We laughed about our smoker’s lung after breathing in that stale smoker smell.

We weren’t there all that much for the first two days. But on Saturday, we realized we were running low on TP and our towels were hot soggy messes. I went to the owner and asked him for more toilet paper and a couple more towels, so at the very least we could have something on the floor to mop up the leaky shower.

He looked at me with an odd expression and (I SHIT YOU NOT) said “But I already gave you two rolls.”

I placed my hands together in an effort to prevent myself from punching this dude in the face and finding some sort of calm within a prayer pose and said, “Yes. But you see, we’re girls. We need more than two rolls. And more towels too. That would be extremely convenient if you could provide this for us.” I gave him a smile that I hoped relayed more of a hopeful message, rather than a murderous one.

He looked vaguely out of sorts and offered to wash our towels for us after admitting he had no more toilet paper.

That was the moment when I knew I wanted to write the AirBnB review. I’m still penning it in my mind as I write this post.

He luckily scrounged some more TP for us and two fresh towels were laid out for us upon our return that day.

But you know, all in all, these are the sorts of adventures that can either ruin your trip or make your trip something to remember. Jill and I are both pretty easy-going gals, and we sure as hell laughed a whole lot about it. Maybe some people would have been horrified and demanded a refund while seeking modern comforts. But to me, we both survived and the memories and laughs we shared together are more precious than gold.

But, for the love of all that is good in this world, at least provide adequate toilet paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 





10 ways

13 03 2019

A couple years ago when Dan and I went to Puerto Vallarta (our first real holiday, just the two of us, since having kids), we went to Yelapa for the day. We met a couple on the boat and chatted with them a few times during our excursion.

At one point, after we were pleasantly pickled from a couple of (AMAZING) margaritas on the beach, she mentioned that she was Finnish and that when they were married, they chose to involve both languages for their vows.

So I said “Mina rakastan sinua” to her and her mouth dropped open. We both then laughed and laughed.

You see, a bajillion years ago I had read an article in some stupid teen magazine that was “Ten Different Languages To Say I Love You”, and I have remembered almost every one. 34-ish years later.

French, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Finnish, Russian, Swedish.

(I have a tendency to store meaningless tidbits of random information in my brain, yet struggle to remember where I parked my car when I went grocery shopping.)

Anyway, she was quite amazed that I knew how to say I love you in Finnish, and, quite wryly, she also confessed that her own husband had difficulty remembering the phrase to say to her during their vows. He tried his hardest to defend himself but given the circumstances he conceded defeat.

 

 

Forgive the spelling, this is how I remember it:

Je t’aime

Iche liebe dich

Ti amo

Te amo

Wah eye ne

Mina rakastan sinua

Ya lyublyu tebya

Jeg elska daj

 

 

 




And so we mourn.

19 09 2018

In retrospect, my blog posts always seem to have the same essence and theme. My lake, my friends, the seasons. It’s a rich flavour, a repertoire I feel isn’t overly tiresome, and yet I find myself second guessing myself every time the mood strikes to write for fear that it might seem redundant to some.

Nevertheless, I pondered the last few days about this and decided to write on!

The sunlight these days is low. It shines differently, doesn’t it? A deeper yellow, a brighter cast. It’s warmer in its glow and cooler in its warmth, such a strange dichotomy. It shines on the waters of my lake, seemingly enticing me to plunge in, but my soul and my body know the chill and coolness it hides in its sparkling invitation. Yet I feel like I should, just one more time. Strip down, run in, let those waters enfold me in a brisk embrace, flooding me with icy affirmations.

The leaves are turning. It’s earlier this year, don’t you think? Given the fire season and smoke and cool weather that hit us in mid-August, I am not surprised. Even the last few weeks in September have denied us those hot days and crisp nights. The worst fire season in BC’s history has taken a toll in everyone’s experience. Beach days were cut short, camping trips dampened. No evening campfires. Long walks disrupted by lung-choking smoke. This demoralized me. This demoralized everyone. It evoked a deep sadness within my heart and soul for all of us. We live all year in sweet anticipation of these Kootenay Summers and to be denied even a few days of its offerings, to be denied the heat, the sun, the pure intense bliss of it all, it’s like the loss of a love, a summer fling cut short, a too-soon breakup of an intense love affair that takes your breath away. And so, the natural progression of the changing of the seasons was cut short and shoved almost violently in our faces.

But I digress. Above all, the moments that come along to gift us sweetness are always here, present and ready to whisper lovely reminders in our ears. As I left this morning on my early morning run, the coolness of the fall-ish air enveloped me. My dog was giddy, as usual. Yes, I was cold, but the air. The air was like a vitamin-infused oxygen bar all around me. I ran and I breathed in, nourishing every cell in my body.

So we mourn this loss, as we should. The loss of those days that shine like diamonds, as laughter echoes into the dusk and holds us to the promise of one more summer. Those diamonds, they sparkle and beckon. But we need to remember that there are also pearls, that glow within from a cool golden hue and allow us to revel in being present no matter what. And it’s time to don a different jewel, to wear it with gratitude as the season turns.

 





You know, it really it is the little things

5 07 2018

I woke up this morning with the anticipated July sun finally beaming in through the windows, and after my coffee and shower, I egged on my dog Jed to get him all riled up for his morning walkies. Well, could you blame me? He was laying outside my door, completely splooted (google it) out with his front paws crossed in anticipation, his brow furrowed as if in consternation about whether or not he’d get to go romp before breakfast. Hint: he always does.

He was delighted as always, performing cutesy spins and giving his high fives as I asked him if he “wants to go for a walk”. We headed out into the early morning, the air gently warm and the crows announcing our journey with raucous caws.

Sometimes we run. Sometimes we walk. There are times when I intersperse lunges and jump squats to make sure my arse doesn’t sag too much. But whatever I do, Jed comes with me. Tail high, prancing with pride. Isn’t it sweet to give your dog what he loves the most?

We did a quick route this morning as unbeknownst to him, he was heading up the mountain with the birthday girl and her dad for a day of ATVs, fishing and hiking. As we rounded the corner home, I stopped to pick a few sweet peas for a birthday bouquet and happened to look up as I began to head home. There in the sky, hung like a mobile over a baby’s crib was a giant Blue Heron. She (he?) was straight as an arrow, neck folded in, legs extended. The moment stopped as I just stood there to watch this creature soar over me. Beyond the twitter of chickadees and zzzz zzzz zzzz of the hummingbirds and the sweet songs of the swallows, this giant of flight was silent. I stood. I watched. And after this bird passed over me, I finally breathed deeply and regained my venture home when I noticed two bald eagles soaring together. My breath stopped again. The two birds circled around together, hanging briefly in the updrafts of the air below. Not a wing was flapped. They were close enough so that I could see the white feathers of their heads and the rich brown of their bodies. Jed stood patiently by as I stood still again, trying with all my might to absorb the beauty, the peace and the simplicity of this moment. After a few second they dispersed, perhaps spying a fish or two rising in the waters below.

I know it may have looked silly, but I clasped my hands in a prayer pose in front of my heart and breathed a word of thanks. To who or what, I’m not even sure. But the gifts given to me, simple and sweet, were too good to not be grateful for.





How about you?

24 02 2018

Oh I’m ready. I’m so ready.

I’m ready for open windows and soft breezes that clear that stagnant wintery dreariness from the rooms. I’m ready for sunlight creeping in at 4 am and the incessant chatter of birds outside my window. I’m ready to witness the patches of tired dirt-caked snow grow smaller every day and to bear witness to the tight little buds of leaves as they ready themselves to unfurl in  bursts of vibrant green.

I’m ready for evening walks in the spring air. I’m ready for washing the winter gear one last time and tucking it all away. I’m ready for the soft rains that nourish the soil and enhance the scents of new life all around us.

I’m ready for the daring of snowdrops and the audacity of tulips, sometimes reaching up through leftover snow that the sun hasn’t reached yet.

I’m ready to shake out the dirt and dust of being inside too much. I’m ready to bike along my lake and to hear the cries of the ospreys as they return to their summer home. I’m ready to breathe deep and fill my lungs with spring.

I’m ready to grill burgers outside and linger on the deck until dusk. I’m ready for beers on the beach with my dearest friends. I’m ready to hear the distant motors of boats on the lake and sprinklers with their rhythmic tick lulling me into a meditative state.

I’m ready to run without fear of slipping on ice. I’m ready to absorb the warmth of our sun. I’m ready for the quiet joy of rolling out my yoga mat in the early evening air.

I’m ready to embrace all the gifts that spring and summer are eager to bestow. I’m so ready.

How about you?





Oooohhhhhh…..

30 01 2018

It was a long day at work: a good day, but long. I worked until 5, and then headed to the grocery store for my weekly shop. I drove home in the pouring rain, ensconced in the wintery January darkness. The visibility was terrible. I puttered along behind other drivers going far below the speed limit as slushy melting snow snagged at our tires and splats of rain beat down upon us.

I finally got home to face the (endless) chore of unloading almost $300 worth of groceries (so, like 1.5 bags… hahaha, no really, I kid, but holy shit y’all, it’s expensive AF to feed a family of four these days!!). I put things away, wondering morosely what I was going to do for supper, when I looked up to see my husband’s expression. He had eagerly helped me as we chatted about our day. He looked almost guilty as he admitted he needed help with uploading a back- up for the business from our bookkeeper. I wanted to sigh OUT LOUD… but he was too sweet in his efforts to make sure I knew he didn’t feel good about taking more time away from me than necessary. I swallowed my irritation, as I have accepted my IT position in this house. And so I put the groceries away and set off to the computer to fix the issue.

During this, my daughter came to me to ask for help for choosing a book for her AP English class. I wanted to grit my teeth: the exhaustion of my day, more mental than physical, seethed and boiled within me. Like, FUCK… I just want to relax and drink some of that nice Pinot Grigio I had chilling in the fridge but nooooooooooooo, I have to unload groceries AND help with the computer AND pick a book AND deal with whatever else will be coming down to land on my lap. I glanced at the clock in dismay. It was close to 7.30 pm and I hadn’t eaten and there was still a bunch of thing to be done because there was that 18 hour long power outage that left me unable to do what I usually get done. And then I started to think about appointments I needed to book, incessant chores that nagged at me, and I could just feel that pity party wanting to start.

It was then that I realized that I was the CEO of My Family Corporation. It lifted my spirits and made me smile to myself. I felt my irritation dissipate into a level of acceptance that allowed me breath. I fixed the computer issue. My daughter told me to not worry about dinner as we chatted about books. I poured that wine and took a luscious sip, reveling in the (maybe slight egotistical and vain kind of way) fact that without me this house and home just might crumble into a moldering, smelly, slightly slimy hot mess. I fucking OWNED this shit. Hell, I run this place like a tight ship. Right then and there, I stopped my Poor Me and said Girl, you are AMAZING. Everyone is fed and happy and looked after and it’s all because of me. ME.

So, hey… All you other amazing CEOs of your own corporations….when you get irritated at everyone running to you to help solve their problems, just take a seat and drum your fingers together and laugh in a maniacal way. And repeat after me: I run this, I own this, I kick ASS at this. Pour that wine, or tea, or beer. And sit back and know how truly indispensable and integral you really truly are..





The little things.

9 10 2017

I’ve been immersed in gratitude this weekend. Like most people I know, we have more than enough to be thankful for. And this weekend is ripe for expressing it, showing our deep thanks and recognizing the blessed lives we lead. For many, we were surrounded by family and friends and copious amounts of food. As the autumn sunlight streamed through windows, lighting up the tables set to celebrate our abundance, it made me think about the little things, the not-so-easy things to be thankful for.

I am thankful for this gentle appreciation I have for my aging. While I joke about the crinkles and eyebags and my deep fear of a neck wattle with my dearest of friends, fantasizing about Botox and mini-lifts, I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. While my skin folds in on itself, and the age that I am  is reflected in the face I present to the world, I find myself discovering a beauty I wouldn’t have dreamed of admiring a mere ten years ago. I breathe my age in and exhale my thanks out. For this only means that I am still fortunate enough to be here, to live and find joy and have arguments and walk my dog along a forest path.

I give thanks for my restless mind, who prowls about at 2 am. Who fosters self-doubt and worry and strife, but who also reigns in senseless fretting and whispers gentle realities to myself. Don’t worry so much I tell myself and I agree. I listen and it says: You are loved. You are loved.

I am deeply grateful for my decades of dealing with depression and chronic pain and the dark dance I shared with thoughts of suicide so many times. It was indeed as scary as it sounds but in a lovely way, it afforded me more self-knowledge that I could have ever imagined. My cognizance of my frailty has made me stronger. And letting go of my fear of talking about it has gifted me the strength of being there for others. Raw honesty is as healing as honey drizzled in a cup of tea. One sip and you feel it cascading into your body, spreading it’s warmth and love to every cell.

I am indebted to experiencing hate and jealousy. In allowing myself to mirror the beauty of love and kindness through contempt and resentment, I think that I’ve only become more appreciative of my own bounty. And learning how these two distasteful emotions can be used to guide me towards a better understanding and a deeper compassion is seeing that light turned onto me. How bitter I was and relieved my soul was when I found I could let it go. My life certainly isn’t perfect. And by no means will I be able to stop coveting entirely. But learning to step back and trying to see the foolishness of my insecurities is akin to peeling off layers of wet and uncomfortable clothing. Discarded on the floor, I stand bare and tender, more willing to let the negative dissipate.

I am thankful for so much. Today, though, my gratitude is for the little life lessons we are gifted every day, these hidden jewels around us, offering us ways to better our own true selves and walk a sweeter path.

Many blessings to you all, this Thanksgiving weekend.