Being grateful

Being grateful

It was at Old Port Montreal that Joseph stood in front of the river. He was observing people who were eating together, cuddling, taking pictures, playing games, having fun and enjoying a little walk under the first rays of sun. Without being particularly attracted to them, he found them nice. It was not so much that they were beautiful but what was emanating from them was a clear “joie de vivre” that anyone who laid their eyes on them would have notice. Joseph was closing and opening his jacket depending on the weather that was at time extremely windy and extremely sunny at others. His hands were cold as always but it did not bother him. Looking at all those expressions of happiness either on people’s faces or on what was coming out of what they were doing, he realized that people had many reasons to be thankful for. Few seconds after he thought about that, he wondered what he could be grateful for or if he had anything he could be thankful for.

He started thinking about the current state of his life while going along the bridge looking at the water below and the white birds flying and yelling on top the river. If joy was what they were projecting because of their smiles, their actions, the warmth they seemed to have between them, he wondered what was he projecting if he was alone and looking at the others. Was it envy? Or was he giving the impression that he admired them? Even if this thought crossed his mind, he did not stop looking at them. He had so much pleasure doing it that he did not care about what they would think. He only said to himself that he was going to be as discreet as possible. Instead of feeling envious, seeing their happiness made him happy. It was like a movie. As if they were there in order for him to look at them. It looked like the Divine had arranged everything that day in order for him to see a movie in the big theatre of real life.

Feeling very good about his conclusions, He came across a couple who were holding hands and he said inside him: “Thank you for holding my hands in public even if I did not know that I needed it”.

There were few others couples who were lying on the grass and he whispered inside him: “Thank you for sleeping with me at night even if I did not know that I was craving for someone to be with me at night”.

People were making barbecues, eating sandwiches, salads and Joseph could not help smiling alone when he saw them and he thought deep inside himself: “Thank you for cooking for me, it had been a long time someone had not done that for me.”

He saw a young couple walking along side what looked like their parents and what came naturally in his head was: “Thank you for bringing me to your parents right after I met you, I did not know that I needed that kind of recognition. Thank you for giving me my parents, I am not sure I have ever told them that.”

As Joseph was leaving the bridge, he turned back and looked at all those families, young and old couples, the river, the birds, the kids’ running and yelling and he thanked them for making him realize that all those things were possible for him. He was not aware that he had stopped believing that they could happen to him.

He crossed the streets and started to move up to the little cafe and restaurants. A little red head girl probably from Eastern Europe was playing the violin in the middle of the way and people were giving her money. Mexican musicians were resting while she was playing. People were eating at the restaurants’ terraces and seemed to have lot of fun. Some were listening to the music, looking at people who were passing by, stopping their kids from making a mess with their food or they were just relaxing at their tables.

Joseph saw one of his friends and wished him happy Easter. Many parents and kids were having ice cream. He wanted to have one but did not have enough money to buy it and it gave him the idea to thank life for giving him ice cream in the past without him realizing how lucky he was to be able to afford it and how important it was to have one whenever he needed and wanted.

He had enjoyed life in the past without taking the time to be grateful for. Although he had worked hard to get what he had in the past, he nonetheless had received all he wanted without being conscious of how precious all those things were. He got them extremely fast and it seemed almost way too easy. He could not realize what was difficult about life and why people were suffering to get what they need.

Now that he was on the other side of the door, he realized that he had taken his life and luck for granted. He did not fully enjoy the pleasure of the success he had. Since he was experiencing the other side of the door, he was able to fully appreciate what he had before. Tears came out of his eyes and he said to himself: “thank you for bringing me back to myself by opening my eyes to my reality and my lack of consciousness.”

As he went through the different streets of Old Montreal, he thanked life for putting him in the restrained economical situation that he was. Indeed, if it would not have been for that harsh life, he would not have known how wonderful his life was and is. He saw that he was among the luckiest because he had the opportunity to live in the same life both side of the door. He not only lived it but he was conscious about it and was not broken by the experiences he went through.

It was not everybody who would have accepted to go through the things he lived. He took that path because it suited him better. He did not know what would come next but he knew that he was extremely lucky and no matter what life would bring him, he was able to live trough it without loosing who he was.

He thanked life for all the mechanisms and games that were taking place inside him in order to open his eyes. He was in love with life. He was playing with life and he was opened to its lessons. He was alone with himself.


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