Grace Notes #16 (with Photos)

Grace Notes #16 (with Photos)

Grace Notes #16 (with photos)

This is a periodic blog feature I call “grace notes.” It occasionally captures my jottings of incidental gratitude. My hope is that this practice will make me (and you?) more aware of the constant flow of amazing good we are perpetually steeped in, which we are surrounded by all the time. It is here only asking to be noticed and amplified.

So now I am furthering my ongoing goal of appreciating such a continuous, overflowing abundance of random good. I’ve even taken photographs of some of them –mostly with my iPhone– which you can see in this post.

So let’s start this gratitude list with:

  • I’m grateful I got to visit my friend Jeffery out west last summer, never dreaming it would be the last time I saw him. A terrific, but modest fellow, he wouldn’t want great fanfare here, but I can’t miss a chance to give him a least this small tribute: he was one amazing, sincere, jewel of a guy. I am grateful to have known him. Thank you God, for him!
  • I’m grateful for my big one woman show in October, which came down since my last gratitude list was made. I’m also grateful to be on the other side of it, frankly, and creating again just because the Spirit moves me, with no agenda in sight.
  • I’m grateful for iPhones that keep me in touch with our daughters. I’m glad they send selfies so I can participate in their day, whether they are amazed at an early snow, want to show me their new glasses, are dancing at a friend’s wedding, or headed to the college Madrigal formal. I appreciate getting glimpses of their life, and that they want to stay connected. We are looking forward to having both home for Christmas!
  • I am grateful for my bright yellow leather prayer chair that I inherited from my parents. I spend a lot of time in it and it is top notch: gorgeous and comfortable. I love it!
  • I’m grateful for interesting lighting, the brilliance of moss, first snows in November, fall leaves out the window in the living room, rain on the crab apples, used books, consignment store finds, texture and taste, and for Instagram and this blog where I get to share those everyday enchantments.
  • I’m grateful to have been to Boston for a wonderful spiritual conference, and for the people there I see every year. In particular this year, I’m grateful for making a new friend there that I look forward to getting to know better. I wish they all didn’t live so far away, but again, I’m grateful for technology to shorten that distance, and many are fellow blog readers, so you share this space here. Additionally, I was glad to get to stay with a dear woman from Creative Arts Camp, also fellow blog reader, while in Boston. Her 1907 apartment building is stunning and she is such an intelligent, engaged, whole souled example of how to be. It was delightful all around, and I feel blessed.
  • I’m grateful to be continuing to learn to cook, trying out new recipes, and experimenting with new food combinations. Our refrigerator is full of incredible leftovers! I’ve been adding lemon zest to the homemade granola, and garnishing the celeriac/apple soup with sage crisped in brown butter… You get the idea. Yum!
  • I’m grateful for a freezer full of food from the garden and having just harvested the last of the parsley. I’m grateful the leaves are raked, and I’m thankful we can coast on the produce already grown and put up for a while. Winter is such a cozy, expansive time, and I’m glad we are coming into it fully stocked with freshness and flavor from the other seasons.
  • I’m grateful to have not only had a marvelous art year, with five one woman shows, selling eleven paintings so far, but that it has been far and away the best year for my Christian Science practice in the 21 years I have been doing this full time. I’m so grateful for all the progress, healing, connection, and fruition!
  • I was glad to be able to give the two talks about “Nursing our Churches” which you can read about here if you missed it.
  • I’m grateful for all the guests that have come through our door. We appreciate your warm friendship and interest, and of course, I love to feed you too.
  • I’m grateful for Libros.FM which is like but instead supports the independent bookstore of your choice. I like listening to audio books while I drive, and knowing I’m supporting a local business I care about.
  • I’m grateful that God governs the combination of ideas, and that I am learning to expand my thought to include more good.
  • I’m grateful for a gym membership a half block from my house and for all my good intentions of getting there more than four times a week. Hope of creating healthier habits is a glorious thing!
  • I’m grateful for all the women, minorities, and young people who were elected here in the US this November. May they do their part repairing the breach. I’m grateful for any glimmer of hope in the political sphere.
  • I’m grateful for my sweet husband, who can mix earnestness with downright silliness, and is such a support to me in so very many ways. He is beautiful and kind, loyal, patient, and positive. I am so fortunate to be with him. He brightens every single one of my days. (And check out in the photos the new ring he gave me! Whoa.)
  • I’m grateful for both new opportunities that stretch us, as well as for blissfully ordinary days. A perfect mix of these is, well, perfect.
  • I’m grateful to be doing my Reading Challenge for 2018, as I push to the finish line at the end of this month. It is a great way to be more structured, balanced and thoughtful about what you read. I hope you join in next year if you haven’t already. Let me know what categories you’d like to see in 2019.
  • And of course, I’m grateful for you, dear, dear blog readers, every single one of you. Thank you for sharing this journey called life with me. I appreciate you being here so much!

Add your own grace notes in the comments!


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Ann McGill 5 years ago

    Polly, I just love you. Your spirit, innovativeness, receptivity to beauty and to God’s goodness expressed. Thank you for your blog.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 5 years ago

      Thank you!

  2. Dilys Bell 5 years ago

    Thank you Polly for all your inspiring ideas! You are a treasure! I am grateful everyday for all the blessings in my life. I was thrilled to be in Boston for the Annual Meeting for the first time this year and so pleased to meet you! Have a wonderful family Christmas with your girls. Love x

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