Before I begin the "actual" post, I want to acknowledge the photo of this gnarly, twisted tree.
This is a tree that lives in my backyard, but I only noticed it the day before the snow fell. (For some perspective, that was five days ago. I've lived here for almost two years.) Isn't there a saying about paying attention to what's in one's own backyard? It's like I was so busy moving from door to door that I never stopped to see what was right in front of me.
Therefore, I'm taking time to acknowledge the tree. There are a lot of metaphors wrapped inside this tree. Maybe someday I'll return to it.
But my gratitude for today comes with connections.
I once read an article (which I tried desperately to find, but could not) that discussed the merits of interacting with other humans. The premise was that nowadays, with remote jobs and online shopping, and even online grocery delivery, people can spend days at a time without leaving their homes or having contact with another human being. Even having such basic interactions as those at the cash register can increase a person's sense of happiness and fulfillment for the day.
I 100% believe it.
Most of my day, unfortunately, was spent at work on the computer. BUT: I had a group texting conversation full of encouragement and motivating words to get me through the day; I met up with a friend during our lunch break so we could go for a walk on an unexpectedly warm day; I had a phone call with a friend on the west coast with whom I've been playing phone tag; I had a lot of prayer time (hey, talking with the Big Man Upstairs is important); and I got to connect--handshakes and everything--with folks at our Wednesday night service.
And for all the emails, text messages, and tweets that I got filled with genuinely kind words, I am grateful.
Nothing beats face-to-face interaction, but it's nice to feel connected with the friends who are just around the corner, as well as thousands of miles away.
This one goes out to you, my friends :)