So on their journey to being friends, they decided to go on an adventure. They had created key ingredients for relationships and thought, "Why not see how many towns we can find that have the same name as the ingredients?" Thought it would be easy - NOT. Eventually AlliAnne searched the computer and the two decided on a Friend Adventure off in search of Gratitude. It was on the map on the Cheseapeake in Maryland. Did they find it? Well, one discovery is that there is no town with that name although it is on the map. But check this out
They found the Gratitude Marina in a small town right near where Gratitude, MD should have been on the map! So one discovery was that it existed...sort of. The real treasures is that they truly understand that Gratitude is NOT a place to be found as much as it is located within them and in relationships with the world.
Walking on a beach they saw an older couple pushing a stroller and walking a dog on a leash. Look at these faces and see what Gratitude is all about. This couple has rescued and adopted four daschunds. Alli Anne and their owner talked about puppy health - see Alli Anne cooks bok choy daily for her dogs and so does this owner. There was so much of the day that gave them messages of gratitude - weather - good food - great conversations with people who might have been strangers and then a visit to Chesapeake City.
Both remembered the little ice cream place by the canal and thought - in their childlike enthusiasm - "What a great way to end the day...ice cream!! " They gave not a care to the fact that sugar is not a good friend for either of them BUT in the short run they had gratitude that they got favorite ice cream flavors and sat out by the canal watching the boats and ships of all sizes coming by. A favorite to be sure - the teeny tiny tug guiding the giant car carrying vessel up and under the bridge out to sea!
So lesson learned...many lessons learned. Best of all is to realize that GRATITUDE is NOT a place but a feeling of appreciation for each and every little things - each precioius present - that life gifts us with. It's a simple no brainer - sometimes we just forget so it takes an adventure like this sometimes to guide us gently back to reality.