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gifts and gratitude

by Leah Pearlman

by Leah Pearlman from Dharma Comics

With Christmas eve
right around the corner,
I’m more than ever aware
that the most precious gifts
I have received this year
can’t be bought anywhere

So I’d like to share
what some of these were,
and give 1001 thanks
to you, my friends,

for generous invitations
to visit you in Ashland and Oakland,
Arizona and Malaysia,
Cape Ann and Cairo,
Hadley, Lyon, and New York,
Seattle, Santa Cruz, and Soquel,
Paris and Tunis

for wonderful home-made meals,
long walks in forests, deserts, and rice fields,
birthday wishes on my Facebook wall,
favorite links and little notes

for car rides to friends, weddings and funerals,
road trips around Bali and New England,
Sinai, and Vashon island,
late night pick ups and early drop offs
at countless train stations and airports

for meditative evenings and poetry gatherings,
Joseph and Aravinda’s memorable wedding,
and friendly reminders to play and sing

for your acknowledgments and encouragements
of my out-of-the-box experiments
in the United States, Egypt, France, Bali
… and the present moment

for wise words and wild ideas,
great questions and suggestions,
honest feedback and loving insights,
and opening each others’ hearts

for all the times we gathered
and enjoyed each other

for humor and laughter,
and countless triggers and reminders
to tune in and look deeper

for those of you
who offered an ear, hand, or shoulder,
when my ship filled with water
amidst stormy weather
and I was scared to go under

for gleeful guitar and oud lessons,
life changing shadow work sessions,
book suggestions, new connections,
Skype conversations and meditations

for your willingness to share
keys, kids, and cats,
wisdom and winter sweaters,
precious books and favorite recipes,
air miles, and shruti boxes

for your generosity
and unexpected gifts of money,
to support my journey

for life,
its five-star sunrises and 2012 surprises
like Soren, Navarre, Nitro, Nina, and Hakima,
Ahmed, Isa, Rahul, and Mustapha
and all the generous strangers
who made unexpected offers:
that soulful singer in Oakland airport,
who gifted me his new CD,
or the organic farmer who invited me
to spend the summer
on his solar farm in Hawaii

and I am also deeply grateful

for n + 1 opportunities to make a difference
with my own heart and experience,
so that I too could share my gifts with you,
and let life’s creativity flow through.

~ Tesa

Over and over

By Leah Pearlman from Dharma Comics