grateful for small moments / by Shelby Robinson

Yesterday, I took the long way to work to drive down a road I used to take every morning in high school. It was the more scenic route, and I needed a few quiet moments before the day ahead.

Everything was so familiar, but yet.... so different. The road was the same, the scenery hadn't changed, the homes were still the same. I recalled which elementary school friends lived in which houses and which stops we made on the bus ride to school. But somehow, something felt off. Something felt like it had changed.

And then I realized that what's changed is me.

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During the drive down said familiar road, I witnessed one of the most breathtaking scenes I think I've ever seen.

As the sun was rising and it's rays were peaking through the trees onto a field of grazing horses, a large flock of blackbirds swooped down above them in perfect harmony. And all at once my heart skipped a beat. I gasped aloud. The scene honestly took the breath right out of my lungs. My mouth stayed wide open.

I couldn't believe I didn't have my camera. I was so sad!

However, the more I thought about this small misfortune, the more grateful I became.

Grateful for my passion for capturing moments and the apparent transformation it's had in my life. Grateful for the way it's taught me to see the world. To notice the beauty in simple, raw moments that otherwise would pass me by. Grateful for said small moments that literally take my breath away.

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It's been four years since I've regularly driven down Van Atta Road. And it's so insane how doing so can spark these small moments of remembering and reflection.

I'm still the same girl who cherishes her quiet time + solitude, one who would prefer to sit in the back of the bus and stare out the window + daydream rather than talk to friends. But now I'm able to drive down the familiar path and notice the way the trees frame the road and how the leaves look like nature's own gradient and how the river winds through the woods. How I am so much happier and grateful for life's offerings.

What a life. What a beautiful world we live in, really. What are you grateful for?

If anything, be grateful for this here treasure of an album.