Our friends Jmayel and Sacha at 8 Miles From Home made a video called just that, These Tiny Moments. It is deep, beautiful, thought provoking and makes my heart grow each time I watch it. Here is the link for your pleasure. 8 Miles From Home Video - These Tiny Moments
I have always been a very positive person, sometimes to the point of getting on other people's nerves. Lately, I have been lingering too long on moments that are not happy, but frustrating regarding living in Thailand. I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say, it is all part of living in a culture I try to, but will never completely understand. It is not the first time and if I am being realistic, won't be the last I experience the vast differences.
Here is advice from an expat couple living in Japan for managing the these times. "It is important to hold onto and relish the tiny moments that make you laugh, smile, appreciate and give you peace."
Once I let go of the negative, it didn't take me long to experience some new moments and because they made me feel so good, it reminded me of Jmayel and Sacha's video and then like a snowball rolling down hill other moments started to gather. Here are some of my favorites.
A very lively, adorable 60 year old woman from Bosnia, with her purposeful stride is walking toward us on the beach. Maria is already waving from a fair distance and as she gets closer her smile and giggle are absolutely infectious as she greets us with, "Good Morning Vince and Lin!" That was the extent of our connection, but she was so delightful and I found myself smiling from my toes when we passed each other.
The rooftop common area at our condo the week between Christmas and New Years had many families lounging in the sun and playing in the pool including two boys from Sweden living an expat life with their parents in Laos and an adorable girl named Annie on vacation with her parents, also from Sweden. Annie is 9 years old and one of the sweetest children we have met. She always has a genuine smile and hello when she sees us. The boys, Lucas, 5 years old and Felix, 14 were very interested in the game I was playing on my tablet. In the next moment I found myself surrounded snugly and I handed over my game to their delight. They were so happy and I had a precious moment of acceptance by two strangers. Humanity could learn a lot from children.
The next evening Annie gave me a box of Swedish Ginger Cookies as a gift because I shared my coloring book and pencils with her. What a doll!
Also the next evening we were having a lovely conversation with Felix and Lucas's mother and father and wonderful moment of connection with Nada. I told her we have friends living in Split, Croatia and she said that is where she is from! We showed her the pictures our friend has posted of her home town and she was reminded of her Mother, Grandmother and places she explored growing up there. It is a moment I won't soon forget.
I was inches from the eye of a pregnant elephant. I had just washed and scrubbed her head and was touching her face. I can still feel her staring at me and my entire being was alive with an energy I have not experienced before, for one tiny moment we were connected.
Tea. I have always loved tea, but never dreamed I would one day be able to stand in the middle of a tea plantation in the northern hills of Thailand.
There is something special about seeing the innocent joy on a child's face.
Little did I know that the sunsets and sunrises we would see would be so magnificent. This one was in the north of Thailand on the top of a mountain. Our view was vast and the entire sky turned many shades of pink and orange.
In the north of Thailand there is a lake full of bright pink lotus flowers that only bloom for two months. As far as the eye can see it is a magical experience not easily described. I really expected to see a unicorn or two!
Standing arm in arm watching a full moon rise over the Gulf of Thailand and listening to the waves gently lap and swish to the shore.
Our nearby Khao Takiap hill, we call Monkey Mountain, I managed to catch this picture of a mother and her baby.
We have so much to be grateful for and I know that I must continue to look for Those Tiny Moments!