We came home to lightening bugs boiling up out of the ground. Green fluorescent bubbles blinking up from the ground all the way up high into the trees. They mesmerize me every summer. As I stood looking out into the backyard last evening, I was floored by the sheer number of them blinking away in our yard. It dawned on me that we did not see any lightening bugs while we were on our camping trip. We saw all kinds of them last year when we travelled through the forests of Kentucky and into the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. Turns out, there's not a species of firefly in the United States that lives west of Kansas.
Things I take for granted:
- the vastness and diversity of this country
- clean water
- my own bed
- my childhood
I have been struggling with writing this post for days now. Not because I don't have anything to be grateful for this week, but because I have SO much to be grateful for. There were moments when the beauty of our surroundings would hit Michael so hard and he would say "I can't believe how beautiful this is." Every time, I would agree and say this was how I spent every other summer as a child. My childhood was good. At times, my gratitude is overwhelming. I feel almost shameful when I think of my simple blessings of just good food and clean water. Safety. I live in a safe environment. I recognize that I am fortunate. I see families giving up everything in an attempt to make a better, safer life for themselves only to be ripped apart. I couldn't even imagine fleeing my country with nothing but my child and a jug of water only to reach a place I thought was safe and have that child taken from me. The way we treat other humans is inhuman. If I truly believed in a Christian God, I would believe that he has abandoned us for our heartlessness.
Because I am grateful for the freedom I had to be a child, to have a life a privilege really, I am donating to the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights. There are many ways to help. There's Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Program. Both of these groups provide services and aid to immigrant families. Maybe your gratitude for the blessings you have in your life will spill over with the need to help someone less fortunate.