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Feet stepping on a pebbled stepping stone in a garden.

Even When It’s Hard

Kristy Dodson
Kristy Dodson

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I love spring and all that it offers but today life feels unexpectedly solemn. There has simply been a lot for us all. I have heard from many and I feel it too. We are waiting on normal to return but I believe now is our normal. We mourn losses, we ache for those in pain (both physical and emotional), many are lonely and afraid, and some are just tired and in need of a friend. The human experience calls us to gratitude even when it’s hard.

Lady laughing while holding a tan dog in her lap that is looking up at her.
Photo by Kristy Dodson

The Magnitude

I am reminded every day that THIS day is a gift. A gift that should always be celebrated and given my attention. Even knowing this full well, the past days have been heavy. Not from the aspect of needing something, being sick, or even struggling in any specific way. The difficulty has come from watching the world unfold. I’m not surprised by its unfolding, just by the magnitude in which things are.

A dog sitting in a lap with a muddy hand resting on her back.
Photo by Kristy Dodson, Rest After Work

When It Doesn’t Feel Right

I find joy in so much but sometimes it does not feel right to express it. Why is this? I never want to take any of this life for granted nor do I want to seem ungrateful. I am not. Today I just reflect on what is happening in this worldwide human experience and maybe that is an appropriate form of gratitude.

A bowl of red curry on a dinner table next to a small lantern.
Photo and dinner by Kristy Dodson, Red Curry Chicken

Gratitude Heals, Even When It’s Hard

Hershey is gone. While working in my garden, my friend texted with tough news.

Hershey made it to doggie heaven a couple of days ago. Although we miss him terribly, we had a lot of great years of him loving us unconditionally. Thank you for taking good care of him on our Texas trips. It will never be the same!

Ashli
A small brown and black dog with his tongue peeking out.
Photo by Kristy Dodson, Schulenburg, Texas

Dogs have a way of nudging their way into our psyche. They are part of our human experience. I believe they are miracles that help us cope and offer guidance on how to just be. When they leave us, there is a void that is tough to live with. What we did every day as a simple routine, now stops us in our tracks. Hershey was one of a kind and will be missed by many. My heart aches for my friends each time I look at my own sweet dog, Sug. I know they are sad and that makes joy hard to express. Gratitude is sometimes hard to find, but it heals us when we allow it to take over.

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Sweet pupply sitting in the sun in the middle of purple kale growing in a garden.
Photo by Kristy Dodson, My Garden Friend

Even When It’s Hard

The world is in turmoil, and it seems we all have different opinions of why. While it seems confined to one part of the globe, it is not. We all feel the war in some way. The reasons and excuses are many and I struggle to know what to believe and trust. It is a power struggle, a self-esteem crisis, hatred, jealousy, or panic. Many believe it is politically driven and even religious. All are reasons I cannot embrace. It is a human issue. We are humans. All are worthy of life and love. Joy is difficult to express right now but even this human experience calls for gratitude. Even When It’s Hard!

Mission San Jose Church photographed through a stone opening.
Photo by Kristy Dodson, Mission San Jose Church, TX

In Your Own Way

Each day is hope just as it is. Wake up, face the east sky and see the sunrise. That is hope for me every day. I step outside, regardless of the temperature, and see the sunrise. It heals us physically and emotionally. Joy is expressed by God and becomes my joy by way of gratitude. Some days are harder than others but being thankful ensures joy. Write it, speak it, show it. In your own unique way, find gratitude. We are alive. We have a purpose.

Sunrising over the Withlacoochee River in Yankeetown, FL
Photo by Kristy Dodson, See Every Sunrise

Connections to Nature

Connecting with those who have known me the longest has been life-giving. All are approaching their 80s. They are full of love and wisdom. One writes and connects through our mutual love of being in the garden. Though for different reasons, we have both found the isolation of nature to be healing and sweet.

Looking through a wire fence at a winter garden.
Photo by Kristy Dodson, My Winter Garden

Her Laugh Is a Joy

Another loves me just because she does. Growing up, she was my neighbor-mom. We’ve reconnected lately thanks to Instagram and this Daybook space. She cannot visit or do everything as she used to, but she finds ways to laugh and connect even in her new normal. We visited through a screened door this weekend and I was reminded how simple it can be to find joy. Being back in a space of childhood, in her presence, and hearing her laugh is a joy.  Abundant joy….it is enough.

Even When It Is Hard

As we all stand on the edge of change, we still long to connect. There is much hatred, anger, and sadness in this world and it makes joy hard to express. The human experience never stops craving hope and calling out for an answer from God. This is how we know there is joy. We crave, we cry, we laugh, and sometimes scream but joy does come with each new day. I’ll continue to seek a sacred space. A space of isolation. In this space, my mind and heart are clear and ready to respond even when it’s hard. Gratitude.

One wrought iron chair sitting in brown leaves in a field
Photo by Kristy Dodson, Solitude

This Is Our Human Experience

How is it in your world? Let’s continue to connect, treat each other with respect and grow our community. Do you know someone who needs to join us, to hear this, or simply connect with others? Feel free to share this post…we all need to be loved and thought about. This is our human experience. This is gratitude. Even when it’s hard.

A small red car going down the road with a huge teddy bear strapped to the roof.
Photo by Kristy Dodson, Just an ordinary day.

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2 Responses

  1. ❤️ Words to lift me up! I needed a lift on this day that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed! Thank you for those encouraging words. Loved this blog so much! ❤️

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