When invited, we were asked to bring a small gift for gift exchange. After each person opened their gifts they were asked to share their happiest moment of 2011. Everyone had very different years of course but the common thread was the joy they found in community. They were all thankful for the support system of friends and family; the people that they could share their struggles and triumphs with.
As I sat nervously waiting for my turn to share my joy of 2011, I realized that community was my happiness as well. Last year was a great one. But it was not the places I went to or the things that I saw that were the best; it was the people that I shared those moments with and the conversations that I had. And now as I sit in Japan I am blessed once more with an abundance of wonderful friends and great conversations.
I looked around at the faces that were sitting in my friend’s house. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by their presence. Some of them I might never see again but I am thankful for that time we shared together.
I hope that this year you will encounter amazing people and have conversations that stick with you. HAPPY NEW YEAR!