Based in Oxford, England, Allison often is a blog by Allison Brown. Her posts explore creative writing, photography and travel.

NOTHING SHORT OF THANKFUL

NOTHING SHORT OF THANKFUL

It's been almost exactly one month since I arrived here in Oxfordshire. One month of adventures and laughter and tea. More than words I can attempt to write or pictures I can post online or weird videos I make, I simply cannot convey everything it is to be here. 

In other news, I always end up staying up too late but I have now been saying that for about a year now. Alas I find myself awake yet again past midnight, reflecting on all that has happened thus far. 

I woke up today feeling only the slightest tinge of what might be called homesickness. I hesitate to say homesick because I don't know if that's quite the right word. I missed home and Abilene and yes, Sing Song but it wasn't to the point of sadness or sickness. I knew I could let myself reach that place if I wanted to. But this morning, as I walked alone down Woodstock Road to the Quaker Church where our classes are held, I made a choice. 

I decided to be thankful. 

Earlier this week during our group devotional time, we talked about the theme of thankfulness. I guess this thought has really been on my mind since then. 

At least once a day, I look around as I'm walking down a street or sitting in my favorite cafe and I laugh to myself because I still can't believe this is real life. These moments that overwhelm me with joy are naturally moments of thankfulness, but contrary to popular belief, there are times when I have to consciously choose to walk in a thankful mindset. 

You know, the moments when you would pay a considerable amount of money for your mom to do your laundry, or when you watch videos of Sing Song acts over and over again and wish you was there, or you really just want (real) chips and salsa  – these are the moments I'm faced with either joy or grumbling. 

 I wish the choice sometimes wasn't so hard and I wish I wasn't so prone to patterns of complaint. In this space in between, I choose to acknowledge that I miss things from home. But I also choose not to dwell on wishing away the things I have here. 

Today, I am thankful for the people here with me. They really make this whole thing so great. I'm thankful for kitchen dance parties when we sing the entire soundtrack of the Sound of Music while doing dishes. I'm thankful for friends who send me videos of Sing Song. I'm thankful for sore feet that walk all over this town. I'm thankful for professors who push me into thinking deeper about God's word and his world and the people in it. I'm thankful for finally watching Braveheart and planning a weekend trip to Scotland. I'm thankful for St. Aldate's Church and The Vaults and Garden and the Wednesday market and Peruvian food. 

In the words of the Avett Brothers, I'd say I am nothing short of thankful. 

Nothing short of grateful for our trip
And those we’ve met
Nothing short of thankful
— Scott and Seth Avett

 


Under the Tuscan Moon

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WATCH AND LEARN

WATCH AND LEARN