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On a day that happens to be both the anniversary of 9/11 and Korean Thanksgiving, in a month of a parent's birthday and the past death of a grandparent, I find myself reflecting on both loss and gratitude.  Events over the past few years have taught me that they are inextricably linked.

The older I get, the less I know.  The more humble I feel, the more grateful I am, the more I come to understand what is of consequence, and what is not.  My frame of view expands, and I begin to see myself as part of the large tapestry, spreading behind me and before me, all threads interwoven.  Sometimes those threads are severed, but I try to keep building.

The poem below has stuck with me ever since I heard it read aloud on the radio last year.  Each time I read it, I am reminded that life is more than mere happiness, that the richness of it embraces all joy, pain, loss, hope, and fear. 

Manna

Joseph Stroud

 

Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,

a world becoming white, no more sounds,

no longer possible to find the heart of the day,

the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all

I wanted in life – so be it – whatever it is

that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever

blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am

grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,

palms up, I know it is impossible to hold

for long what we love of the world, but look

at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,

see how the snow drifts down, look how happy

I am.

 

 

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