In this season of harvest, I’ve been challenging myself to acknowledge the people who’ve helped me become who I am today and who made my life so full.
Today I’m honoring my father who passed away over a decade ago. I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to represent him with a photo. Then I remembered an experience I had at the festival celebrating the opening of the new Reach extension at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Peering over a balustrade I saw this group of teachers making art, right there for all to see. “How brave!“, I thought. So I snapped this shot and then had a lovely conversation with one of the education staff. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Why is this a big deal? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Because I used to be mortified when my father would strike up conversations with anyone and everyone – the clerk at the deli at our local grocery store, the postman, a stranger in an elevator. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“Justine, just talk to people!” he’d say. “You never know what you’ll learn.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And there I was doing just that! Talking to and CONNECTING with a total stranger. I never could have envisioned being able to do this all those years ago when I’d stand along side my father and listen to him engage with people. His example gave me the confidence to do that…to reach out, to be curious, to listen, to learn, to connect. And for that I am eternally grateful. ⠀⠀
We all have people who have been influential in our life. If we are lucky, we have the opportunity to recognize the gift and to say thanks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Who are you thankful for? And how will you show your appreciation?