Welcome to another iteration of my Grateful Heart Monday series, where gratitude is my only focus of my writing for the day, which for today is for all the things I’ve come to appreciate in life that once were things I never had an appreciation for, that is until my heart grew close to someone who did.
A few weeks ago, I was standing atop Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron, Michigan, taking in the pristine view all around me, which included Canada just across the river, the Blue Water Bridge that led to it, the turquoise waters of Lake Huron, and the sandy beaches directly below me. I never used to have any appreciation for lighthouses and probably went past dozens of them regularly throughout my childhood travels simply ignoring their presence. But after spending seven years with a partner named Jerry whom I once loved very deeply, where one of his biggest passions in life was lighthouses, especially visiting them, I eventually saw the love for them through his eyes and fell in love with them myself. Ever since, I’ve done my best to visit as many of them as I can and am grateful that Jerry left me with a passion for a nautical treasure I never used to care about.
Walking around the grounds of the same lighthouse and around the waterfront of Port Huron nearby, there was something else that’s become a huge part in my life now as well, that I used to never care much about and that’s history. My current partner Chris loves history, in fact he once told me it was his favorite subject in school growing up. For the first bunch of years we were together, we went to a number of places that were considered historical, where those placards exist to solely provide tourists with a historical understanding of what’s directly in front or around them. As a kid I used to be so bored with these types of things and yawned my way through most museums, even when I went to places like the Louvre! I just rarely found any appreciation for history, except for something that was maybe was over a millennium old. But ever since meeting Chris, I’ve seen the importance of all types of history and take the time now to look at so many things considered historical, especially whenever we travel somewhere, like at Fort Gratiot and Port Huron. I found such an interest in taking a step back in time to well over 100 years prior when that lighthouse had active innkeepers and nearby was an active fort protecting the U.S. coastal waterways there.
It’s ironic as I write this and find myself pondering just how much of my life today really has become such the grateful conglomeration of passions for things I only grew to like because of my heart growing close to another. I see now how my love of bowling came solely from my first partner’s (also named Jerry) love for the game. I see now how my love for NASCAR came solely from a best friend named Randy’s love for the sport. I see now how my love of miniature golf came solely from my father’s love for the unique game. I see now how my love for sushi came solely from a close friend Keith’s love for it. I see now how my love for warm crackling fires in fireplaces came from my dear friend Dexter’s love for them. I see now how my love for playing cards and board games came solely from my mother love for both. And I see now how much my love for Christ and God and all 12 Step recovery came solely from the love my best friend Cedric always has had for each. The fact is, so much of who I am today with all the likes I have in life now, all stem from time spent with those I grew to love deeply, who had these passions to begin with that I never had much of a thirst for, that is until they came along and entered my heart.
Shooting pool, playing darts, visiting nature preserves, going to amusement parks, walking through haunted houses, hiking mountains, having domestic cats as pets, collecting crystals, holistic healing, and so much more have all been things I never used to like much at all or pay any mind towards, until God saw fit to bring into my life special individuals I grew to love, and opened my eyes a little wider each time.
So, as you can see, I truly am grateful today for so many things I initially had no interest in, that is until I met one unique individual after another in my life that I allowed my heart to connect to their, that through that process, I came to see the world in a vastly brighter way of appreciation.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson