Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Alphabet Soup - Letter "W" REVISITED!

I have some thoughts in mind for addressing that challenging letter X that comes next in my long list of alphabet blessings. But I am just not ready to go there yet.

Rather, I want to take a step back to W for one more spin. I have many things I am grateful that begin with the letter W.

WOODS - I love going on long hikes surrounded by trees.

WASHING MACHINE - Years ago I lived for a while in a two room cabin up in the mountains with no running water and just a wood stove for all cooking and heat. I'm grateful for that experience, but even MORE grateful that now I live with modern conveniences like a microwave, an electric toothbrush and a washing machine. In a lot of ways I still believe in living simply, but carrying water every day and using a wash board over a basin was not all that fun.

WARMTH - I love the feeling of being snuggled up safe in a warm cozy blanket or being outside feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. Inside or outside, I love to be warm! I hate to be cold. I am so glad that winter is ebbing away now and signs of spring are popping up all over the place. I look forward to flowers blooming and longer days, with comfortable temperatures. Call me a weenie if you will, but I am grateful for warmth!

WATER - This is a powerful blessing on so many levels. I love rivers, oceans, lakes and streams. After years of being quite scared of the water following some rather nasty near drowning episodes, I have overcome that old terror to truly appreciate being all wet. Beyond that, water is my drink of choice these days, Having spent time in several countries where it was not safe to drink the water I am deeply grateful to live in a land where all I need to do is turn on the tap for a clear, clean drink. Water is the medium of baptism, the ritual of forgiveness & making a sacred covenant with God that has been such a source of power in my life. Water is also what my faith uses for sacrament to symbolize the atoning blood of Christ. In so many ways my life is richer for having water. The earth is mostly water. My body is mostly water. Water is a very good thing.

WEIGHT TRAINING - This has been the year of me taking action to get myself as healthy as I feasably can manage. Part of that process has been a water aerobics class (ooh - I left that one out up above!) Another significant piece has been a weight training class I took for a while at the college where I work. It has since fallen by the wayside since my new job's schedule doesn't allow the pocket of time when I was going, but those several weeks I spent there definitely helped me tone and firm up some long ignored parts. I may not officially be in the class anymore, but I've learned the importance of resistance training to condition this middle aged body so I will find other ways to keep up the progress I've begun.

WAFFLES I've made some rather big changes in what and how much I eat in my determination to lose the lard that had accumulated around my carcass over the last decade. But every now and then I still love a good "pancake with tread". My husband has a very cool waffle machine given as a gift from our youngest son some years ago. On a few rare occassions we slow down enough to have a lazy morning together that includes a breakfast of waffles with real maple syrup or strawberries and whipcream. The food is quite yummy - but the time we take to savor it is even sweeter.

WARTS - NO! I am not grateful for those small rough bumps that grow on one's skin. (blessedly I have none.) But I think of this word when naming my blessings because of the expression I share with a couple special pals who are willing to love me "warts and all." It's just my way of saying that I have been gifted to know some fine friends with whom I can be completely authentic, not having to hide behind any pretense or false smile. It can feel very scary and difficult to allow one's self to be vulnerable with others - to expose the soft underbelly weaknesses of our lives. But I am blessed to have a couple of folks with whom it is totally safe to do just that. This reminds me of a passage from the book "A Life for A Life" by Dinah Craik that says:

Oh, the comfort --
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words -- but pouring them
All right out -- just as they are --
Chaff and grain together --
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them --
Keep what is worth keeping --
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

That's what I mean when I say that I am deeply grateful for friends who accept me, warts and all.

So YES, my life is much richer for all those W blessings. I'm sure there would be more if I gave it more thought. But these will suffice. So now on to the neXt!

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