Fighting fire with gratitude

It can be much too easy to let the voice of cynicism speak louder than hope, to add up the ways in which I feel inadequate, to list all of the things I wish were different or better.

Instead, I choose to fight fire with gratitude.

Here are a few moments, just a start really, of quiet holiness, of friendship and deep-in-your-stomach kinds of laughs, moments from these past few months that I want to hang on to:

Late night snowshoeing on a frozen lake in Wisconsin, craning our necks backwards to see the Milky Way spread out across the black sky

Swallowing my self-consciousness and sharing my spoken word poetry in front of my peers

Watching my art students grow out of their I can’ts into eagerly grabbing the yarn out of my hands to finish the project themselves

A Julius Caesar cast dance party on the Ides of March, lightning flashing against a purplish sky and thunder breaking through at the perfect moments

Sitting across from one of my friends and crying and crying, letting her sit with me and not try to fix it

Magical nights of singing along to the radio, our feet sore from dancing

Watching 13 Going on 30 with a friend who understands my deep love for story-telling, chick flicks, and brownies

Being early for class and sitting outside the art building for a few blessed minutes in the sunlight, reading Madeline L’Engle’s autobiography A Circle of Quiet

Spending time with my family in Indiana: laughter and corgis and home-cooked meals

Accidentally discovering a winter garden in the middle of Chicago

Long gusts of wind that push against me and make my hair fly in front of my face, reminding me that I am really small in this really big universe, and that is okay

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