We’ve been very busy living mindfully, laughing much and counting our blessings, often. It’s difficult to limit ourselves giving thanks on just one day of the year because honestly, it really ought to be every day.
Just in the past week, we drove to Mae Sai, the most northern tip of Thailand for the nth time and explored (combined with a visa run of course!). On the way back, we went looking for a giant tree and we found it. We also hiked 1400m to see the Khunkhorn waterfall 19km from the White temple in Chiang Rai. We decided to skip the temple this time and went on a waterfall hunt..
Later in the week, Emma participated in the Assembly for the second time where acting and dancing were involved surrounded by her friends at her school. She walked like an Egyptian and so did her friends.
We felt privileged, as we do on a daily basis, to be included in the celebrations of the Shan New Year for the second time since our arrival to Chiang Mai in June of 2010. We listened to Shan music and saw elegant dances and ate delicious Shan food.
Emma attended her first balloon festival this week. Extraordinary in the eyes of an 8 year-old child while adults might easily say “oh, it’s just another festival!”
As we slowly made our way in amazement, to the alms offering ceremony at 6:30am, we reminded ourselves of how fortunate we are in the midst of 12,600 monks from all over Thailand, in a sea of humanity (equally significant as those we participated in Luang Prabang when she was seven and those we will soon participate when we return home),
As of yesterday, 27th November 2011, Emma reunited with her grandparents (my parents) here in Chiang Mai after living here for 18 months.
All in the same week, we received the most heart-warming message from one of her uncles (my youngest brother) who returned home to Burma after thirty-one years. He was only three, I was twelve and my other brother was eleven when we left. I’ve been told that my father had less than $50 to his name and bravely lead all five of us to the land of the free, the land of opportunities. And opportunities we did have. Thirty one years later, just look at all of us! I proudly admit that my parents did the most with the little they had to raise us to become kind-hearted global citizens. And frankly, the world can always use a few more of those.
And soon we will reunite with my extended family members and Em will visit her mommy’s home country for the very first time.
This week, I find myself listening to this video often. Thanks to my brother, in a faraway land in which many of us cannot fathom surviving, who shared it on Facebook.
Message to Em: “May we recognize that the simple things in life are the most extraordinary.” Via Paulo Coelho Dear Em: love that most things you do are the most extraordinary things for you, the greatest things you’ve experienced for you at that moment while you are doing, experiencing them.