I like reading the essay at the end of the Sunday New York Times Magazine. They're always thoughtful. The one at the end of the August 27th issue was more than thoughtful, it was enough to make you always be thankful. It was entitled, "The Last Refuge" by Hassan Daoud.
In the essay Hassan talks about his family home in Noumairieh, a small village in southern Lebanon, which he spent summers in while his family lived in Beruit, and renovated in recent in 2005. It has no electricity and few cars in the village. His friends said it wasn't worth the effort to renovate a house he'd rarely visit except when war in Lebanon got out of hand. He escaped to the village and the home.
And then came the invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon by Isreal. He watched on TV as the Isreal bombed. We all saw the TV footage of the bombing, the villages, and the people. I won't touch on the issue of this war except to say Isreal has a lot of explaining to do over two solders. But he writes he watched the destruction of the village, including his neighbors, and wondered about his own house. He was lucky, it was saved, and he was thankful in face of everything going on around him.
I live in an apartment in a small harbor community in Washington State, not far from Seattle. I have a view of the Narrows Inlet, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and above all Mt. Rainier. My apartment has survived nearly 40 winters, numerous earthquakes, including our Nisqually one, the most severe in the last 50+ years and considered one of the worst type to hit this area. It's old, cracking, creaking, and just plain wearing out. But it's still here, safe and warm.
Every day hearing the news of human-created and natural disasters destroying lives and areas around the world, I'm very thankful. Everything in anyone's life can change in a heartbeat, so as we sit watching the world go by, we should just thanks for being where we are, safe and warm.
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