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Monday, November 5, 2012

It's a 'Good morning, beautiful," Day . . .

I love those days when you wake to remember that life is full of unlimited possibilities and whether they are positive or negative is more to do with how you handle the situations the universe puts before you than what that situation is. I know, that sounds very Pollyanna-ish, but I'm at least a practical and pragmatic Pollyanna.

It's hard not to feel upbeat when you wake to a bright new day, with a roof over your head, reasonable health (any day above ground is a good day), food in your pantry, true friends in your heart and phone directory, money in your wallet and bank account (not much, but more than most of the general populace in many countries), witty and sometimes wise friends and pundits on social media, saleable skills and a world full of adventure.

Add to that a cool, crisp autumn morning fresh from the previous day and night of rain; vistas of rippling russet, golds, yellows and reds as the season changes spectacularly; streets full of damp multi-colored leaves; and the small surprises that Seoul offers every day if one keeps one's eyes open.

Wending my way through the myriad of shortcuts and mazes I take when negotiating this metropolis on foot, I found myself making my way down a damp, uneven stone stairway behind a aging blind man who tapped his descent with his cane. For a few years now, I have been reading the blog of an amazing woman and writer who happens to be blind (her nephew is an equally talented photographer I was privileged to work alongside), and have learned from her many of  the challenges of getting around without sight, especially in a big city. I imagine those difficulties are exponentially multiplied in a city that still retains many undeveloped neighborhoods, in which residents with disabilities are more likely to live, and few real facilities to aid them.

Yet, here was my fellow walker, nimbly picking his way down a far-from-regular steep path with the agility of someone much younger and sighted. I'm always humbled that many of those in the world that have the least possessions or the most difficult hurdles to overcome are often the last to complain or to expect others to carry their loads for them.

It's a lesson that is timely to be reminded of as I once again leap into an unknown future, trusting that as doors close (one door just isn't enough for me), other doors will open. They may not be the doors I first headed for or knocked at, but the doors that open will be the ones where I am welcome.

As I prepare for my next adventure and new challenges, I do so with thanks every day for all that I have and the goal to live my life in line with my favorite quote, one that has special meaning for me as an ardent ocean sailor:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910) 

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