"And God Bless America" my dad always belts out after praying at a meal - usually cueing snickers around the dinner table. This one's for you dad. God Bless America. Here's to America and how good it is to be an American.
There's a lot of scrap we can dig up to complain about our fatherland. Though on this day, not a lot of it is exactly necessary or even worth mentioning. This weekend, whether we are satisfied with our country or not, everyone easily falls into red, white and blue attire, clicks on grills, and enjoys all that is America. Am I right? So let's focus on what's worth acknowledging on Miss America's day of birth. That being, how blessed we, her lay people, truly are. Our dailies, comforts and even norms are unheard of to people in other corners of the world. In fact, you can watch them all but disappear without even leaving our own continent.
I must give a side note to my love for such other countries. There is something contagious about being in these cultures of simplicity where our comforts are striped away. But, on this day, I am reminded of how incredibly thankful I am for the provision of my native land. Simply by being born on a specific soil, we are handed a baton of opportunities. That alone is something worth celebrating.
This year, to celebrate the Fourth of July we spent our Saturday with family relaxing by one of our country'a shining seas. The water was refreshing, clear and calm. Days like the one we had are the reason why growing up in the Virginia Beach surfing community we learn to call our ocean "Lake Atlantic."
It was a perfect day and as I stood out on the sandbar with waves lapping at my ankles and both my sisters by my side ( a rare occasion), I decided to celebrate this July Fourth with a list of gratitude.
Of course, on the top of that list are the big things like small businesses, the ability to pursue creative endeavors, and a land chock-full of breath-taking views.
But what really pulled my heart strings, on this bright shinny Independence Day, was gratitude for the little details. And though I often find myself longing for distant shores, this weekend I am happy to be here appreciating my American made comforts.
I find gratitude as I fall for the rhythm of things like...
The scratchy zip noise between guitar chords.
The smell of good coffee when you first wake up.
The beautiful simplicity of wildflowers.
The common norm of a toilet seat.
The freedom to roam and the vessels by which to do so.
The way we somehow talk everyday into being a holiday.
The variety of cuisines made possible by our grocery store selections.
The colorful mess left behind after a few hours of painting.
The cool comfort of diving under a old quilt made soft and raggedy by years of love.
The safety in which to enjoy thunderstorms.
Watching heat lightening over the ocean with my feet on solid ground.
The instant refreshing rush of a cold shower.
The daily dance of fireflies.
The gurgling breath of a coffee pot.
Oh, and of course family and watermelon
Well, there's my current list of gratitude. What's yours?