I’m getting butterflies in my belly as I order supplies and sort my stuff to pack before heading back to the United States of America soon!!! I haven’t seen my family in a year. This is the longest I’ve been away from my baby girl and I’m feeling a wave of emotions flow through me. Living in a third-world country for the past year has really changed my entire perspective on everything.
There have been a lot of moments that have impressed upon me; moments of amazement at how folks here in India live on a daily basis. I’ve seen houses literally made of mud with grass roofs. I’ve seen people here washing clothes by hand and beating them on cement. I’ve seen women here carrying loads on the top of their heads that most women in my country couldn’t carry with two hands. Driving past fields in the early morning and watching the farmers honor their animal, giving it an early morning bath by hand. But, aside from the many spiritual blessings I have received int his country, the moment that has left the biggest impression on me is when I was in Tirruvanamalia with my friend, Caz.
We had stopped at a shop to get some fruit and water for morning. An elderly, emaciated woman approached us. Most of her teeth were missing and her clothes were dull and tattered. She motioned to ask for money. My friend, not having any cash (or food) on her, handed this woman all she had to offer in that moment; a half-used bottle of warm water. I was so shocked at what I saw next. If some stranger came up to me in my home town asking for money and I handed him a half-used up bottle of warm water that I’d been carrying around and drinking from all day (and probably back-washed my lunch into), that stranger would look at me like I was from Pluto. But this woman? I’ve never seen anything like it. Her face lit up like she was three years old on Christmas morning! She graciously accepted the bottle and was visibly elated!
You see, to this woman, it wasn’t just a bottle of water. That old, thin plastic bottle? It was a prize in and of itself. It was tool. She could use it to transport water or soap. She could use it to bathe with. She could use it to store things. It was a prized possession, not a common house hold item. Seeing someone so full of gratitude for a used up, warm bottle of water? This one moment, it was just a few seconds; a flicker of a moment in time.. but it changed my life forever. It made me realize all of the little things in every single day that I have to be grateful for in this life. It made me think, what if I were so poor, that a used up, warm bottle of water was like gold to me?
Today, I get down on my knees and humbly bow down to my divine, filled with so much gratitude that tears trace tracks on my cheeks, and give thanks for this experience, and for the realization of all the things big and small, that I have to be grateful for every single hour of every single day that I am alive on this Earth. Thank you, God.
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Much love and many blessings to you!
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