How Gratitude is Often Found In Unexpected Places

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I’ve spent a total of 10 of the 17 days of March this year in different cities.

It may sound like a lot, and maybe it is, but I’ve found that each and every time the plane touches down, I’m presented with a whole different set of new and beautiful experiences. This week alone I had three amazing encounters that left me feeling so grateful for the opportunities I’m afforded every single day.

It really all does come down to attitude and gratitude. Yesterday (Friday) afternoon , as I was heading for the shuttle to the airport, off in my own world, thinking about the next thing I had to do. I wasn’t really aware of my surroundings, other than knowing when to stop and when to cross the streets. Nearing the shuttle stop, the older gentleman walking in front of me dropped his briefcase on the sidewalk. Papers spilled in every direction. Some ended up in the gutter, rapidly becoming a sopping mess. He was swearing under his breath and was very upset (understandably). I stopped to help him corral the chaos, and as I bent down I noticed the most incredible sight — a tiny plant pushing its way up through the half-frozen muck, crowned by two brilliant little purple flowers. I was mesmerized by this bit of beauty right before me –in the midst of a cold, dirty city block.

I pointed it out to the briefcase’s owner and for the first time since we’d started chasing down his documents, he smiled, then started laughing at the handfuls of wet, dirty papers in his hands. Two grown professional men, looking at flowers growing in the gutter. And you know what? It felt like the most natural thing in the world to be doing in that moment.

This, I realized, is gratitude in its most raw form. That overwhelming feeling that envelops and embraces you with warmth and well-being, mixed with a little awe. There really is no way to adequately describe it, but I’m quite convinced it can be experienced every single day, anywhere and anytime.

I’m really grateful that gentleman dropped his briefcase yesterday afternoon and I was there to help him. Otherwise, neither of us would have ever noticed that little flower giving its all to survive and thrive in an imperfect world. I was given the opportunity to share an uncomplicated moment with a fellow human being and in that moment, just exist. I need to regularly remind myself that it’s not just the big things, but also the tiny things that ultimately make our lives full and worth living.

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