Good medicine, little gems and the sum total of all things good…

Can you remember the last time you laughed so hard that you could hardly breathe? Wasn’t it great? 

On a few occasions this past week I have laughed until I have cried… and every time I remember the stories that sparked those original fits of laughter, at the very least a quiet snigger still manages to escape me. 

One should never underestimate the power of the little gems that fuel our happiness and sense of well-being.  Sometimes they are in abundance, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes we probably don’t even recognise them as special moments – maybe because we’re constantly rushing, just not paying attention, or so busy chasing the big things that we’ve become too blasé to appreciate the little ones. 

When we were kids my dad, who is a World War II refugee, used to regale my sisters and I with stories about fleeing from the Russians in the middle of the night. He would tell us how they walked for days, and savoured every little morsel of food they could find. And about his super-strict grandmother who in my mind became the heroine of this major adventure story, which in real life must have been simply terrifying for her, for him and for his younger brother. But even during these tough times, there were events that somehow managed to bring a smile to his face – the most vivid example being the time a goose fell from the heavens (after flying into the power lines?) and his god-fearing grandmother explained to the boys that this was the good Lord providing for them. And on that occasion, they got to go to sleep on a full belly. 

And so he grew up, got married and together with my mom raised three girls that don’t know any of the angst of his generation. Our angst is of an entirely different kind – one that comes with being responsible in our freedom, and taking responsibility for our decisions. And remembering to appreciate the small little miracles of life. I don’t ever want to forget that goose that fell from the heavens.

I have a lot to be thankful for – a healthy body and sound mind; being part of a community of like-minded people, each with their own riveting stories to tell; a vocation I love; the little treats I get spoiled with every now and again; a roof over my head; heaps of energy and the confidence to laugh out loud – sometimes even at the irreverent stuff.

I know that gratitude is not a precondition – but to my family and to all my friends whose gems keep contributing to the sum total of all things good about being alive – thank you, it’s a real treat knowing you.

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