I was one of those teenagers who, upon high school graduation, wanted to “get out of this small town.” I wanted to live in a big city where I could walk to work and always have something fun to do or new to try.
I enjoyed just walking around the main strip of each city to which my family would go on a day trip. When I went to London, I loved walking all over and finding hidden gems in the city.
Why can’t I feel that way in my hometown?
Maybe it’s because I wasn’t giving thanks for it.
On my journey to my internship at 6:40 a.m. I drive past a farm that sits back from the road to the east. I’ll play Lydia’s newest CD through my car speakers and glance to my right where I can see the silo appear as a silhouette against the orange sky. I would look ahead and see fields on either side of the road with a border of purple weeds. I didn’t mind getting up early if I could experience this.
The other day, my dad and my sister rode our bikes down our country road on a warm evening. I took the lead because I liked riding fast to feel the breeze. I took note of how different it felt riding my bike compared to being in a car on that road. I thought to myself, isn’t it wonderful how I can hear the tires of my bike travel along the gravel and feel the air move past me? Isn’t it awesome how I could just travel the Earth, how my bike could go off the path, not being constricted by the man-made roads?
And, afterward, isn’t it great to be able to sit on the back deck, listen to some classic rock music, and enjoy the perfect weather, fireflies and night stars? Or that the only sounds I hear beside the music and my family talking are birds and insects?
I try to be thankful and appreciate these moments as much as I can. Who knows where I end up after college graduation, but I know I can be happy anywhere. And for that, I am grateful.