Refresh the Soul
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Refresh the Soul

My Minimal Listicle of Gratitude

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

How minimal is minimal? Liminal spaces can only hold so many feelings. Will I find a small purse of gratitude hidden among the foreboding tall grasses? All light comes from darkness however infinite an abyss may seem. Even though it has taken me some time to find my pockets of gratitude, I am grateful that I did. Here is my attempt at a poetic listicle. It begins with, I am grateful for…

  1. A flicker of hope in the dimmest of days. As night untangles into the morning, the gentlest and softest embers of warmth draw even the most reluctant flower. Green leaves cleave toward the kindest hues of orange.
  2. Small flames of passion during lockdowns and covid isolation. What are some of yours? I recently started writing again. I have to admit this feels better than fighting. All this time, I was trying to put a lid on my feelings, to keep them from bottling and burning me up. Fighting with myself. So no one could know the expansive emptiness of my emotional cup.
  3. Snapshots of love for the children to remember at least some days of happiness. Tender impressions of fairness as they quibble over the smallest, and most vehement of disagreements. One snapshot for me to have of my wedding day. One of my three children, all flow from tender, loving melting pots of the Creators’ clay. One of my parents because without them, hemming this life with cross-stitches would be vaguely impossible. I’d probably lose my way.
  4. Friends. Those that hang around when you ain’t your best self; to talk you through the difficult feelings and remind you of all of the above. One conversation at a time. To hold sacred spaces for healing. Jump in to clear up the embarrassing fuss. In the end, are we not all flecks of cosmic dust?
  5. Travel. Travelling opens the mind. Why do we need borders, why not tear down all the walls? I missed the mobility of travel during the pandemic, there is so much still to see and experience. Float on the gondolas of Venice, and wander the cobbled streets of Rome! From Cambodia to Ethiopia, before going home. Each time I go, my pre-existing assumptions unravel. I feel free. Free of the weight of the everyday, free to learn and play. Even if, just for a cup of black and bitter tea. Perhaps, a serving of English mashed peas? Find somewhere, plant an olive tree. Take a dip or get lost on narrow streets. Better still, who digs Belgian frités?
Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash

Remember, friends… there is a rainbow behind every dark and dismal cloud just as there is also beauty on the other side of engimatic black holes. Those who say “the brightest flame casts the darkest shadow” (George R. R. Martin in A Clash of Kings) also know that Life is full of highs and lows. So let us learn to let go and to surrender to its rhythms & its flow. Remember to practise gratitude always and the list will grow!




Come in. Stay awhile. Enjoy the refreshment to your soul. We hope you read with your heart and soul leaving refreshed and nourished.

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Li Shen J

Li Shen J

Emerging poet & writer finding her way in her world of words and feelings. Tweets @lishen_sim

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