Saturday, February 09, 2008

On being blessed...

There are some moments in the day when you feel a sense of contentment and an overall good feeling. To me, one such trivial (non-trivial personally) moment each day is when I make both kids take their afternoon nap and run downstairs and make tea for myself. I come back to the study (these days KB sleeps in the study on the pull out Elmo couch) and take that first sip of hot tea as I begin to check my mail and then read a few blog posts before either child wakes up from his/her usual restlessness. That moment is one of satisfaction – at having completed the duties of that day so far, a load off the back that once the nap time is done, the rest of the day should be more easy and manageable. It is a moment of pleasure – to have the luxury of time, however little, to sit in the company of your children, yet have that moment to yourself…to feel connected to friends through email…to be able to enjoy reading something well written (when I read some blog posts) while sipping a cup of hot tea….to sit in a warm and cozy room on a cold day….it just feels good overall. I feel that same joy multiplied every night when I go to bed (usually the last person to do so) and feel connected in that physical space – the four of us, together, feeling warm and resting for the night. I never linger much on that thought – I just immediately thank the creator for that feeling…for that blessing.

Yesterday, as I sat down to have my tea, I was reading an article in National Geographic on the migration of illegal immigrants from Central America to Mexico and then to the United States. I quote here a part of that essay:

“Before the Lópezes left Managua, they had heard the counsel repeated now in certain poor neighborhoods of Central America: If you are leaving for El Norte, find Padre Flor Maria Rigoni in the city of Tapachula, 20 miles north of the border, because the first dangerous crossing you will make is not the one that takes you into the United States. It is at the southern Mexican border where the perils begin—the thugs, the drug runners, the extortionists in official uniforms, the police and migration agents who pack undocumented migrants into detention facilities before forcing them onto buses to be deported. The Tapachula migration station was recently rebuilt, to hold 960 migrants and process them more quickly; the southward-bound buses roll out every morning before dawn.

The Lópezes rode for hours in the 90-degree heat, Jessenia standing on blocks attached to both sides of the bicycle’s rear wheel. She carried her shopping bag in the crook of her arm and kept her hands on Armando’s shoulders as he pedaled, avoiding migration checkpoints by veering at intervals off the pavement and onto dirt paths. They had remarkably good luck. No one assaulted them with machetes or rifles or handmade pistols fashioned from PVC pipes stuffed with gunpowder; no one beat Armando and dragged Jessenia into the weeds; no one forced them to undress so that their body cavities and secret sewn-in clothing pockets could be examined for hidden money. No passing taxi driver decided to collect a payoff that day by alerting muggers or immigration officials that a vulnerable-looking couple was approaching on the road.”


I read such stories and I wonder about them later. Did they make it to the USA? Did they manage to get their two-year old child to join them? As I sit down and feel that opposing force pulling me to complain about all that I don’t have – I ponder about such people who have to toil and risk their lives in the hope of a better life for their children. I have to remind myself constantly that I am blessed in many ways. I am grateful for everything, from the most trivial like my hot tea to the bigger blessings – my children, my husband and family. I shudder to think of this balance in my life being disturbed in anyway. If I put myself in the shoes of the people mentioned in this article, I feel a shiver run down my spine. There are people suffering far worse and there are people who cruise through life without any problems what so ever. We will never figure out the rhythm to the dance of destiny and why people go through what they go through. The only thing I can do is to acknowledge all the blessings I have, and in some sense a lot of the people around me have. I can only wish for life to be good to those who have been very unfortunate in many ways and pray for them. It is this train of thought that made me pass on the blessings to the many unknown people I read about and wish for them a better life….and to all of you who do happen to read this post.

P.S - Lavs, this is in response to your "Blessings" tag by the way. Thanks again!

15 comments:

Aryan said...

Such a heart touching post..I realy liked it..
My mom always says that we sshould thank god for what ever we have especially, when it comes to material possessions...
Come and see Aryan's Blog. He has given the blessing to you..in terms of pooo....
Aryan's mom

Tharini said...

God bless you too Noonie. For your dear and uncomplicated heart!

noon said...

Thanks Aryan. Yes, we should be very grateful for so many things. There will always be something to complain about...we have to keep perspective (which usually lasts for 30 seconds until the next horrible thing you hear brings you back again to earth!).
Thanks - will respond at your site.

Tharini - thanks. But "uncomplicated heart" - I feel like a con woman - I didn't mean to present myself that way even if I seem that way - I am as complicated as the next person! I wish I could be more simple and uncomplicated really!

Praveen said...

Hii first time here, I forgot how I landed up here by the time I rummaged into ur archives and finished reading em. U have an interesting blog. Liked ur "our song" and also the post on feeding KB :).

True very few pple count their blessings in life and keep cribbing for more...is this article on the web too?

PS: If I can say..a nice template wud only enhance ur blog..

Tharini said...

Yes, I understand exactly what you mean by feeling like a con. that's the exact way I felt when I wrote that post on Old Habits, and everyone wrote in saying I already had those qualities. Because 'I' knew the actual truth.

*sigh*

I am sure you are a complicated sense, in the sense that we all are, but you are also an uncomplicated person in many ways (which I perhaps can't explain any better here)...and though there is a direct irony in that, I will stick to this statement.

Tharini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
choxbox said...

beautiful and so true.

noon said...

Hi Praveen
Thanks for visiting. Yes, this article is on the web. I am not sure if non-subscribers can access it though. I don't think I signed into nat geo before I viewed it but we subscribe - so I didn't really check if we were already logged in.
I agree - a template would make it nicer - I have been meaning to do it -I liked the templates on finalsense (courtesy Boo) but somehow haven't made the time to do it. For now, just used one of the standard ones - actually I like this one better than the one I had. Thanks for suggesting - I took it up and did at least some template change!

noon said...

Hi Tharini - I don't mean to compare you or me to Nehru - but there is a famous talk by Nehru (which I am not able to find on the web now) where he talks pretty much of the same feelings - how he feels like a con man because people perceive him a certain way. I guess this feeling is there in all of us. The hardest part is to please oneself because when we are honest to ourselves, we know us best and we are not able to meet our own expectations...but there is merit to continuously trying and raising the bar with age and maturity...

Praveen said...

:)

Aryan said...

hei..blue color is looking bright and good...
Aryan's mom

noon said...

Choxbox - thanks!

Aryan - thanks for your prompt comment on my template change! :) Will change it again when I get time/mood...

Lavs said...

What a beautiful way to pass on the blessings:-)I guess I shall it "noonie" style. BTW, did you know I posted an article about how to change templates esp for people like Fuzzy/Ushaji/HHGradmom.Check it out here http://myownpenseive.blogspot.com/2007/10/how-to-change-templates.html

Neera said...

Lovely lovely post! Counting blessings in everyday small mundane things makes going through life so much more beautiful and worthwhile!
Blessings for you and your family as well.

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