Monday, November 4, 2013

Three Gifts

Today, on the Daily Challenge, I was asked to list three important gifts I have received from friends or family that have helped shape me. It was a good exercise.

So tell me, what three gifts have you received that have helped shape you?

Here are mine:

I have received the gift of time. My husband, son and father each allow me to get away from them and everyone else to write, or go backpacking, or live for a while in sacred spaces like the Grand Canyon. They understand that solitude and the wild are not just my fuel, but bring me quickly to the place I need to go to remember to be in the present. To walk with my fears and be at peace with who I am. 

I have received the gift of freedom from my father. An Indian man who was brought up in a very strict and patriarchal Muslim family. My father came to the US in 1951, and then defied his family and married an American. I was raised knowing I had to believe in myself and my dreams, and to always strive for independence, to never be shaped by peer-pressure or fad, and most of all to never be dependent on a anyone else for my welfare. 

I have received the gift of appreciation. Brought up in a multi-racial home in a multi-cultural housing development in the 1960's, I had friends whose backgrounds came from all around the world. Nobody was rich, but we had each other and I never did understand or accept the false notion that one group of people were better than another. All of my friends, whether Caucasian, Black,  Hispanic, Russian, Native American or Asian had their talents and I was privileged to learn from each. I was also taught to appreciate beauty. I was raised on a diet of music and art and culture. Classical music always played on the radio, I had ballet lessons, art and piano. I remember my father waking me at dawn to listen to the birds, my mother taking me out in autumn to collect leaves and press them between the pages of a book. 

I was raised with my senses alert and my mind wide open. 

Thank you.

Naseem Rakha, 11/4/13

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