Danny Heitman: Reflect on little blessings this Thanksgiving | Entertainment/Life

I see in the newspaper that the Eiffel Tower’s twinkling lights are turned off early each night to save energy, which visitors to Paris may find a little sad. The French landmark is a major attraction for tourists who want to experience the City of Lights, and I also considered it a must-stop when I visited Paris for the first time in 1991.

However, the most vivid memory of my trip at the time did not involve the part of Paris that might have ended up in a guidebook. One evening, a friend I was traveling with suggested that we walk without a specific destination in mind, letting Paris reveal itself. The days of following a schedule had worn us out, and we were ready to follow any plan at all.

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This is what happened to us in a quiet street when we sang in an old neighborhood church. The choir was rehearsing inside, its harmonies drifting through the open side door and onto the street. Enchanted, we entered and sat down to enjoy the choral music provided in French. It was wonderful to hear a language that resonates so uniquely in my home state of Louisiana, singers’ voices animated by palpable faith.

That evening taught me a lesson that I have tried to remember, although it is one that I often forget. It’s a simple fact that when we’re looking for heady adventures – a trip to the Eiffel Tower, a trip through the Grand Canyon, a trip to a tropical beach – those little moments that come our way are often a big wind of grace. .

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I’ve been thinking about all of this for another Thanksgiving, a time to reflect on the great things that will surely inspire gratitude.

Some obvious blessings will come to me as I join other bowed heads around the holiday table. Our daughter got married this year. Our son took a successful trip to France over the summer, a highlight as he prepares to graduate from college next fall. My wife and I each attended high school reunions, another one of those events on our personal calendars that helped boldly emphasize how lucky we are.

But the year brought a small, though equally surprising, stroke of luck, too. My job required me to attend a national convention in Orlando last August, and as I stood in the lobby during the hospitality hour meeting new friends, it hit me: This is exactly the kind of fellowship that seemed so impossible during the darkest days of life. the disease, and now it has been returned to us.

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Perhaps Thanksgiving, at its best, encourages us to remember those blessings of the small print — the small, beautifully written wonders of our ordinary hours, which we are usually too busy to notice.

That is my hope, at least, as autumn draws the curtain on the tired year.

Email Danny Heitman at [email protected]


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