Gratitude Remembered

Exactly one month ago I was on an aeroplane on the way the Valencia, Spain, for the World Forum on Access to Land 2016. I was eager and excited about what lay ahead, not knowing that the weeks to come would bring enormous professional challenges. I recently stumbled across a gratitude list I wrote that night, and it made me feel both nostalgic for how much more straightforward things seemed then and, simultaneously, grateful for all that I’ve learnt since.

30/03/2016

Today I am grateful for…

Flying to new places with a heart open to the experiences ahead – without specific hopes or expectations, just a trust in and excitement about what will unfold.

Glancing out the aeroplane window at 00:30 to feel my heart suddenly stirred by the glowing half-moon, illuminating the sea of soft clouds below us.

Noticing the way beauty can stir in me a mixture of heart-lifting joy and tears – a welling up of intensity that feels as sharp as a knife; a pain that isn’t quite sorrow. It feels as if my heart just isn’t big enough to hold or understand the magic of being.

Seeing the day dawn in a country to which I have never previously travelled.

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Transit at dawn, Istanbul

Listening to the flow of many languages I will never understand, and being reminded that there are millions of lives vastly different to my own being lived out across our incredibly diverse world.

Day-dreaming, and the way in which my body can re-experience pleasure and joy simply in the imagining of it.

Feeling how every moment – even just hours spent waiting in an airport – can be rich if we choose to bring ourselves to it fully and gratefully, and not focus our attention on where we are going but where we are.

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Valencia
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