Thank you to the sun, for rising each morning without fail or applause. Thank you for every kiss that you laid upon my upturned face (your touch always did make me blush), and thank you for coaxing the flowers up from their cozy beds. Thank you for peeking out long enough to lift my spirits after the vibrant colors of summer had given way to winter’s chilly greys. And thank you for warming me when that chill tried to creep into my bones.
Thank you for splashing your light across my living room walls, for sending it in slivers through the sharp edges of the city, and for painting it in patterns upon my skin. Thank you for the fireworks that went off as it reflected off of water, wedding rings, and windows. And thank you for the way it played with the shadows cast by leaves, fence posts, and eyelashes.
Thank you to the trees, for remaining steadfast and strong. Thank you for your devotion, even to those who would take your life away. Thank you for giving breath to this world and for dutifully cleansing what others so casually despoiled.
I thank you for every moment of relaxation enjoyed beneath your sheltering canopies. Thank you for your immense presence and your incredible strength. And thank you for the afternoons spent walking among your forests, where your healing and balancing energy never failed to restore me.
Most of all, thank you for all of the many lessons. Thank you for showing me how to be strong, and also how to give a little in the midst of the storm. Thank you for reminding me that, beneath the surface, we’re all connected, and for showing me what it means to reach for heaven while remaining rooted in our mother earth.
Thank you to the moon, for softly illuminating the truths that I couldn’t look at in the harsh brightness of day. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to go through phases, and for guiding me in and out of life lessons just like you guide the waters in and out of the shores. Thank you for helping me reacquaint myself with softness, with the wilderness within me, and for reminding me that I need not fear the dark.
Thank you to the flowers, the bees, the birds, and the tall grasses that giggle in the wind. Thank you for the simple joys that you offer, for the reminders about how to be present, to slow down, to just be, and to laugh without reason. Thank you to the rivers, the oceans, the lakes, and the rains. Thank you to the tears of joy and of sadness. Thank you for cleansing me, us, everything. Thank you for sustaining the endless cycle of give and take and for reminding me to do the same.
I thank my heart, for always leading me back home. Thank you for gently pulling me back into love, for teaching me how to open up – how to let the world in and let myself out. Thank you for whispering to me, urging me to practice compassion even in the face of pain. And thank you for being patient with me as I was learning what it meant to give without expecting something back.
Thank you for bleeding. Thank you for the chances you gave me to learn that within every pain is a promise. For teaching me that it’s not about avoiding hurt but about what you do with it. Most of all, thank you for finally learning how to turn inside out. It wasn’t easy to take that chance and release all of the judgments that I held about myself. And for that, my heart, I thank you.
And finally, thank you to all of the precious souls I’ve met. Thank you for your presence. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for being who you are and for allowing me to witness that beauty unfolding like the petals of a magnificent flower.
Thank you for allowing me to witness the play of light and shadow within your eyes, like the morning sun did when filtering through the blinds.
Thank you for being uniquely you, and for teaching me the tough lessons, like the trees did as their branches sighed in the wind and their energy wrapped itself around me.
Thank you for every giggle, laugh, and comfortable silence that we enjoyed together. Thank you for pulling me back into the present moment, in a way similar to the birds, and the bumble bees, and the flowers of all sorts.
Thank you for sharing the different aspects of who you are, for allowing each phase to be seen and known, just like the moon embraces and shares each of hers.
To my friends on the street, at home, online, and abroad, and to every one of my readers as well, I thank you. Thank you for teaching me, for supporting me, for hearing me, and for loving me. And thank you for allowing me the opportunity to hear you, to love you, to support you, and to teach you as well.
Thank you twenty-sixteen, for your gifts and lessons. For your struggles and triumphs. Thank you for the time spent with my loved-ones, for the moments of feverish writing, and for the times of utter inner silence. Thank you for the new laugh lines at the corners of my eyes, and for every turn around the spiral staircase of growth. I close this year with a deep bow in humble thanks for all that you have brought me. And now I lift my eyes to the shining road opening up ahead.
©2016 Cristen Rodgers
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