973. random phone call from a friend for a spontaneous adventure 974. a walk in the woods 975. a friend’s birthday celebration with people I haven’t seen in awhile 976. driving fast on the highway after midnight 977. grace 978. newborn calf sucking my fingers 979. watching squirmy week-old piglets 980. silly horse nipping at my arm (I think this is the same horse that came up to me awhile ago) 981. the joy that my husband and I feel together on a farm 982. sharing essential oils with friends 983. a much-needed conversation with my husband about the future 984. my husband’s unending patience and understanding 985. a relaxing Sunday night 986. laughing — really laughing 987. Monday morning calm 988. spring BBQ/first BBQ of the year 989. fireside hooping 990. giving away free books to strangers 991. mason jar breakfast 992. students enjoying themselves in the pool 993. new contacts 994. craft beer 995. buying a birthday treat for someone I just met 996. friendship 997. driving barefoot 998. infectious joy on the red carpet 999. large, full moon on the horizon mesmerizing me 1000. life.
One. Thousand. Gifts. Whoa. In July of 2012, I started my list of a thousand gifts. Nine months later, I am here. At one thousand. I am so transformed. Even though I was already photographing details for years and keeping track of little things that made me happy, actually writing down God’s gifts to me filled my heart with the love and gratitude needed to embrace this wonderful life with open arms. I also know that the thousand I listed were only a fraction of thousands more that I didn’t think to record. Often, I’ve felt that my life was missing something, or I wanted something I didn’t have; but this exercise has reminded me of how oh so full my life really is. I am lacking nothing. In every step I take, I am surrounded with gifts. There are gifts in every person I meet. Every place. Every event. Every moment. There are gifts of emptiness and fullness. Gifts of enough. Gifts of goodbyes and hellos. Gifts of lacking and gifts of having. Of breath and death. Everything is to cherish. Everything shapes us. Life is one magnificent, fragile gift.
I am forever in awe.