Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the Shape of a Heart...

Laura Ingalls Wilder said, "I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life that are the real ones after all."  This may not be Little House on the Prairie, but I think there is still a lot of wisdom to be found in that quote. How many times in a day, a week, a month, do we miss the big stuff because it comes in a tiny, easily-overlooked package? It was such a package, easily missed, that got me to thinking today. As I stepped out of my car, I glanced down and happened to notice a small, brown leaf at the tip of my toe. Nothing that would normally grab my attention, but this leaf was in the shape of a heart. A sweet little reminder of love, so easily missed.  As I stooped to pick it up, I was struck by the thought that a happy life is made up of lots of little blessings. I was saddened to realize that often we miss out on happiness because we expect it to come in a big package. We think it is a house, a car, a new purse or clothes when really it is rays of sunshine, leaves in the shapes of hearts and the giggles of our children who are supposed to be sleeping.

Yesterday our country was struck by a terrible tragedy. The bombing of the Boston Marathon was a heartbreaking event that no one should ever have to experience. My heart aches for those involved and for a world in which such things happen.  My guess is that the families most impacted by this event aren't worried about houses, boats and belongings today. Survivors and their families are grateful for the ability to hug their loved ones; that they ran too fast/slow to be at the finish line when the bomb exploded; that the alarm clock went off again this morning. The families of the lost ones wish they had lingered around the dinner table just a little longer at their last gathering; that they could hear the laughter one more time; that they'd said I love you a little more often. It truly is the sweet, simple things that are the real ones.  My prayer is that we spend less time complaining and more time being thankful. That we find happiness in the things we already have, instead of seeking it in things that rust and fade. Happiness lies all around us, but sometimes we are too blind to recognize it. See the sweet, simple things. It might be right at your feet, in the shape of a heart.

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