We could hear the pounding in our hearts. We could feel the vibration in our beings. Once again two countries had come together in the name of peace. Only this time around, the bridge of heart to heart connections (as I call it), between the Americans and the people of Panama was about giving thanks for friendship, while having fun. Our bridge of heart to heart connections was similar in spirit, to the one that the Americans had created many years before, with hard work and sweat. Between 1959 and 1962 they built: The Bridge of the Americas. We had all heard of the Panama Canal and what a marvel it is, but few of us knew that The Bridge of the Americas is a road bridge that spans the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It was built at a cost of 20 million dollars, and is an impressive site to see. Throughout the day and night, numerous cars and trucks pass over the bridge going one way while at the same time numerous vessels pass under the bridge, entering or departing from the Panama Canal in a cross pattern. Like the canal it connects people and it connects hearts in a peaceful joint venture constructed by the Americans and used by all nations.

For many of us visiting this beautiful country was a chance to get away from a cold blustery winter. We basked in the warmth of the balmy weather. And just like the waves of the ocean had rippled out from under the Cruise Ship that carried us here, our waves of gratitude for peace and harmony were rippling out into new vistas of healing. Beating our drums fast and furious in a rhythmic fashion, the vibration we sent out was felt by all as it anchored what the Ocean of Gratitude Cruise is all about. We were sending the healing energy of love and gratitude to everyone we cane into contact with. We were sharing ceremony, food, dance and music, and we could feel the energy as it flowed in and out of our hearts, above and below the bridge, and in and out of the hearts of our new friends. Their love was returned tenfold by the food they had prepared, the wonderful music they played, and the grandparents and grandchildren of the community, who danced with us. The woman singer's voice was nothing less than superb as she sang many songs in various languages. It was an honor to be there.

The Ocean of Gratitude Cruise gave us a rare opportunity to spend quality time in an intimate setting with local people and respected leaders in the Gratitude Movement. We gladly immersed ourselves in a field of gratefulness while listening to the presenters share their presentations in a gorgeous setting. Gratitude is the master key that opens the door to our natural state of presence. It opens us to peace, love, and inspiration and allows us to live in the present moment.

Our hats go off to Karol Avalon who produced the event on our cruise. And to Christine Stevens for giving us the opportunity to drum for peace with like-minded people so many miles away. We are grateful for the connections we made with the individuals who sang and danced for us. And we give great thanks to the Americans who came before us to build a bridge that, in my mind, stands for heart to heart connections of two distant lands and many nations. We anchored this powerful energy of gratitude, with peace in an environment of natural beauty and we enhanced our lives. The powerful waves of gratitude went home with us and we are better for it.

Author's Bio: 

Katherine Scherer, together with her co-author Eileen Bodoh, are authors of "Gratitude Works: Open Your Heart to Love." www.gratitudeworks.com