Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Dream in a Bottle: Giving Thanks

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In 1989 children's book author Roald Dahl wrote a thank-you letter to a seven year-old girl who, being inspired by his children's book, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), sent him a dream in a bottle.  Below is the text of the letter, courtesy of the web site Letters of Note.  You can also read more of the background of the letter at that site, and if you take time to use the site's search function, you will also find a number of other notable thank-you letters that I am betting will enrich your Thanksgiving day.

10th February 1989
Dear Amy, 
I must write a special letter and thank you for the dream in the bottle. You are the first person in the world who has sent me one of these and it intrigued me very much. I also liked the dream. Tonight I shall go down to the village and blow it through the bedroom window of some sleeping child and see if it works. 
With love from,
Roald Dahl
 There are so many things that touch me about this letter.  As a writer, I was moved to see the connection between writer and reader, a connection that resulted from the risk that a seven year-old took to reach out to Dahl as well as Dahl's willingness to open himself to her gift.  

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I also love the way that Dahl's audacious act of imagination, an entirely improbable story about a giant and the power of dreams, bore fruit in someone's life.

So many of us are waiting for the experiences of gratitude and its close companion, happiness, to find us.  What we often do not seem to realize is that gratitude will never appear in our lives until we become willing to let the power of the gifts in our lives become greater than the power of our fears.  

Developing the art of gratitude takes more than one day of practice per year, so today I am praying for you and for me, that we all mark this day by determining to diligently practice this smallest of acts that may eventually bear the most life-giving fruit in our lives, the act of thanksgiving.


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