Have a grateful and merry December!:-)

N.B. from my inbox… A. was one of my wonderful colleagues @ Clear Lake Montessori school, in Houston, Texas; btw, I collect lovely memories, not things! 🙂

Dear Melanie,

It’s hard to put into words what I feel, because they seem so inadequate to express my gratitude. How can I ever thank you for your precious hours of understanding you often gave to me? I still remember our long talks, the ways you supported me so many times, how you took time to listen to me. You not only listened all those times when I was sad or hurt, excited or happy, when I felt as though my world was falling into pieces, you encouraged me whenever I had tears in my eyes, you soothed my frustrations, and you were more proud of me than I was of myself. Somehow, your presence made my days even brighter, and brought me a sweetness even to the hardest moments. Your support, understanding and devotion are still stronger than anything else. Memories are extremely private things, a personal ‘treasure storehouse’ of joys and sorrows. I simply can’t put a ‘price’ on what that meant to me. You did trust me, offered me your keen attention and generosity – with no thought of ‘reward’. You taught me just what being a TRUE friend is all about, and I could only pass this priceless gift along, both to you and to other folks around me. Pride and embarrassment aren’t that different from each other – they’re both self-conscious.
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“Let’s be grateful to the people who make us happy, because they are the gardeners who make our souls blossom.”(Marcel Proust) – photos taken @ la Gomera Canary island…

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Thankfulness turns us outward, however, it takes the focus off ourselves. It allows us to reach out and accept what’s given to us – simply, honestly, humbly. I do believe the truest friendship is built upon simple and honest bases. Looking back on my life, I realize that you’ve woven into all my best memories. I’m so grateful for you’ve made a difference in my life and in the end, all I can say is THANK YOU for your generosity, you mean so much to me. I know that I’ve changed and that you’ve helped me ‘grow’, to become the person I like being. Accept my thoughts for sincere thanks, they are more powerful than any words. My gratitude has leapt up in my heart, and in spite of the geographical distance, we’ve always been near each other, as our friendship deepens the present and it will illuminate the future. I’ll never forget what you’ve meant to me these past years because you’re so easy to remember, Melanie! As December has just ‘landed’ in Houston, too, I wish you a merry end of this year! Love and hugs, A.
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Have a sunny and peaceful weekend, guys! 🙂

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Al Ain Palace Museum, UAE…

motto:”Je ne suis ni de l’Orient ni de l’Occident, il n’y a pas de limites dans mon esprit.”(Rumi)

Voici l’ancien palais du Cheikh Zayed, considéré “le père des Émirats”; cette belle demeure a été bâtie en 1910, et le Cheikh y a vécu jusqu’en 1966 avec Fatima, sa 3e femme. Devenu musée en 1998, le palais permet de découvrir le passé et le mode de vie quotidien des Émiratis, ce qui explique l’absence des photos de son propriétaire qui a souhaité, avant tout, que les éventuels visiteurs puissent mieux comprendre l’histoire des Émirats de l’époque des Bédouins – avant celle des “années-pétrole”… ah, pas d’images de femmes de sa famille non plus – c’est la coutume locale: leur présence serait à l’encontre des règles de bienséance – la raison pour laquelle on ne demande pas à un Émirati comment va son épouse – ce serait interprété comme un manque de respect, mais… comment va sa famille ou ses proches, ce qui m’a rappelé une autre affirmation de Rumi:”la femme est un rayon de lumière céleste…” 🙂

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motto:”I am neither from the East nor from the West, there are no limits in my mind.”(Rumi)

Sheikh Zayed is reckoned as “the father of the Emirates”; his lovely residence was built in 1910, and he lived there until 1966 with Fatima, his 3rd wife. Turned into a museum in 1998, the palace lets tourists discover the past and the daily way of living of the Emiratis, which explains the absence of any photos of its owner, who wanted, above all, the possible visitors could better figure out the history of the Emirates from the Bedouin era before that of the “oil-years”… last but not least: no images of women of the family either – it’s the local custom: their presence would be against the rules of good manners and decency – the reason why one doesn’t ask an Emirati ‘how is your wife?’ – it would be interpreted as a lack of respect, but:’how are your folks or close ones?’ – which reminded me of another quote by Rumi:”woman is a ray of heavenly light!” 🙂

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