Long, long ago, a friend returned from a trip to Europe with 100s of developed pictures. And I looked at each and every one. Correction: I SAVOURED each and every one. This to me felt significant because I barely look at my own pictures of trips to Europe with that level of reverence. But these were different, these were truly beautiful. I mean, sure, I got nice shots of the Seine, flower carts, rolling hills of vineyards, ancient fountains and the requisite snap of my husband with the Eiffel tower (and other landmarks) sticking out of his head.

The difference, I realized, was that Elly saw beauty in everything. Everything. And though she would argue that she's  not a skilled photographer, she was able to CAPTURE that beauty in everything. Everything.

What a gorgeous way to move through the world.

I don’t believe that my gift is in seeing (and capturing) the beauty all around me. But I do see the grace. It’s everywhere, ready to be witnessed and savoured.

I’ve been invited to speak at a Gratitude Tea this Sunday in Toronto. It’s a fundraiser and the intention is to bring someone who has shaped your life to celebrate your gratitude for them. Celebrating gratitude, ummmm, yes please. (And there's still time to get your ticket).

And so, with gratitude on my heart and in my writing, I’ve decided to reprise the post I did a year ago inspired by Elan Morgan (a woman I’m becoming increasingly grateful for).

 

Grace is a circular blessing. The more grace enters your life, the more grateful you are. The more grateful you are, the more easily grace seems to enter.

- David Brazier

Among other things, I love:

Full-hearted people who show up…even if you barely know them, baked potatoes with greek yogurt + chives, the stiff and uncracked spine of a new book, the soft and dog-eared pages of an old book, making lists, that moment of removing high heels, forgiveness, everything about the Sound of Music, impromptu dinner parties, the stage, generous people who make me want to be more generous, pizza night (though VPN pizza is a close second), witnessing acts of courtesy among strangers, TED red toenails, “it’s handled” emails from my VA, nanaimo bars near Nanaimo, the infectious quality of enthusiasm, wood-burning fires, retiring long-held beliefs that no longer serve, crossing guards who care, garden yoga, heart-to-hearts, reading just the right words at just the right moment, getting my makeup done for me, the ahhhhh of white space, staplers that mean business, the stillness of a stilling question, Erasure’s “A Little Respect” (like, every couple of years), clearing out my inbox, the song of Riedel glasses, new levels of appreciation, bagpipes in parades, the magic that lingers in a group long after a Board of Your Life session has ended, most cheeses beginning with “St.”, the perfectly picked gift destined to thrill someone, the memory of that Christmas Eve in Innsbruck, co-working with Jamie, pressing checkout on Kiva donations, making homemade ravioli (it’s never about the end product), Dropbox, my daughter’s current love of fluorescent pink, eye contact, humility, crisp linens, letters from Santa, firm black plums, the smell of grinding coffee, shifted (and shifting) perspectives, farmers’ markets, finding a full book of stamps, Staedler Triplus Fineliners, the “pop” of a champagne cork, the perplexing power of intention, dividing and sharing hostas, Dad’s borscht, genius ideas straight from the muse that cannot and will not wait to be captured until morning, fresh-picked cherries still warm from the sun, acts of courage, Scandinavian spa silliness with my husband (we are lousy at staying hushed), camping with our wonderful and wonderfully prepared friends (we are lousy at being prepared for camping), April in Paris (or September in Paris, or June in Paris, or...), kitchen dance parties, the way my Instagram feed feels like receiving postcards of peoples’ lives, inari sushi, knowing where the hand-crank flashlight is at all times, beach glass, freedom, sleepovers with my sister, getting to do my heart’s work, coming full circle, the sheer brilliance of The Desire Map and Gratitude Teas.

Yes. More please.

And you, Dear One? What do you love?

 

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