Blessings all around


A dear friend recently gave me a wonderful aran sweater as a late Christmas present. It is warm as a big overcoat and as comfortable as an overstuffed chair. It is absolutely perfect for long walks in the winter woods. I love it and I don’t mind one bit when people start humming the Old Spice song or offer to help, “find me lucky charms.”

I was still reeling from this unexpected blessing when another surprise arrived in the form of an Amazon gift card. I have been using it to get small things. A copy of Ryōkan’s poems to replace the one I gave away – I will probably end up sharing this copy with somebody down the road because the only thing better than owning a wonderful book is sharing it with somebody. I also got myself a nice gaiwan, some delicious bai mudan tea and an Irish penal rosary to keep in my pocket.

rosary, book and tea

I got a few other things, but this post isn’t about things. No, what I want to say is that in spite of everything that is happening each and every day brings some small blessing. It might be a gift or it could be something simple like a letter from a student or my buddy Big John showing up to drag me away from work and out into the sunshine. Even just spotting a cardinal or a murmur of starlings.

No matter how crazy things get, whenever I find myself falling to despair, some small blessing comes along to remind me of the countless blessing that surround me each and every day.

There is more I could say, but I think I will pour myself another cup of tea and read poetry to my Amy.

Harmonica, harp and banjo

Hi, Patrick. This is a message from Mallorca (Spain). I write these words in order to thank you for being yourself. Not only for providing me with a lot of funny hours of banjo learning for free but also with your fresh way of seeing things. All that i know, I’ve learned it from you during the last 4 years (I did start a couple of months before my little daughter came to the world). I’m not a good, even an average banjoist, but you can bet your ass on I’ve always got quite a good time while playing. I don’t want to sound scary or geeky, but yes Patrick, without knowing it, I must say you’re someone loved here, a bunch of miles away from your pretty town. Keep on teaching the joy of banjo and the joy of making things easy and understandable.
God bless you.