Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Giving, Receiving and Thanking

In a season and time of gifting I wrap my presents in hope and thankfulness. Hope I can make a small difference, thanks I am so richly blessed. I remember I have so much and that so many have so little, or nothing at all; precious human and animal lives are in pain and danger.

My ‘unwrapped’ gifts for Christmas included clothing and classroom supplies, sent via World Vision; help to protect polar bears through the World Wildlife Fund; to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, to help many animals rescued from cruelty and cared for by that organisation and to the International Fund for Animal Welfare that fights for animals through rescue, providing habitats and though education.

My students joined in this belief, raising funds to donate within our community – to Harvest House and Ca-r-ma.

The best gift I received was another grant from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to offer more Warrior Women classes this spring and summer.

My husband and I bought each other the gift of music. A CD of Indian music I found at Ten Thousand Villages and two CDs of some of our favourite music – the string quartets by English composer Benjamin Britten.  Chamber music of all ages, but particularly from the classical era and the twentieth century, is my heart-felt joy.

A not-needed but beautiful gift from us to us was the Mud Cloth or Bogolan I also found at Ten Thousand Villages.  A traditional West African craft Bogolan involves hand weaving, dipping, dyeing and painting cotton strips that are sewn together. The deep rose-fuschia is an unusual colour in this craft and added to our festive table and the artisan in me is fully admiring.

Offering thanks first to my husband Gary, my best friend and supporter, for always being there for me.

To my cats for showing it is important to relax.

To my students for bringing joy to their yoga practice, and to me; for allowing me to take a week off during the session so Gary and I could have a long-awaited break together. To my Warrior Women who so generously shared with me some of the most difficult times in their lives. For their tears and their laughter.

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