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 with my iPhone, which you can see in this post.
So let’s start this gratitude list with:
- Family. Yes, I’m thinking of those I talk to every day or week: my husband and kids, and my sisters. But right now I’m especially thinking of extended family. We have wonderful family on both sides. I don’t take this for granted. And I’m especially glad I genuinely love and cherish my husband’s extended family. My heart is with all these people, particularly at this time. I look forward to being with them again. There are photos of some of them below that have been sitting on my desktop for a while now. These shots are just the tip of the iceberg.
- I’m grateful for the babies being born and the marriages that have occurred anyway during COVID. I share a few of those photos below too. I’m grateful love goes on no matter what. I’m also grateful that our niece’s wedding has been postponed from Memorial Day to October, so maybe we can all be in attendance with some normalcy.
- As I mentioned in our youngest daughter’s birthday poem, I’m so grateful she passed her qualifying exams with flying colors. She’s now on a full fledged PHD track and will get her Masters handed to her in the spring. We are so grateful for the dominion, balance, wisdom, and creativity she expresses in her life.
- Regarding our older daughter, I’m grateful she has a loving man in her life, and is a powerhouse in her work, making a practical, positive difference in the world. I’m grateful for her commitment to church as well.
- I’m grateful for paints and books and cameras that keep me engaged and alive between work calls. I’m grateful for the work calls too. My clients are terrific and I’m so grateful to be able to help them.
- I’m grateful for an easy hairstyle that doesn’t cost much. I’m grateful I don’t drink alcohol, or have a pet either. All these things give me freedom and less financial burden, inadvertently adding much to my quality of life. I’m grateful for all the ways we economize, and I am grateful we can pay our bills every month.
- I’m grateful to be taking my cooking up yet another level during this time of sequestering. Instead of becoming bored with incessantly cooking, I’ve leaned into it, trying more new things and behaving like it is an unfolding adventure. I’m grateful to have struck on a good rhythm where I cook five really great meals a week, on weekdays during lunchtime, when I have more bandwidth, energy, daylight, and am less busy work-wise. Then evenings and weekends, we eat the leftovers of those concerted efforts, which are quick to warm up and just as delicious. It is like having a restaurant menu ready to go in the fridge, and they come together quickly, warmed up.
- I’m grateful to be trying new topics in my paintings and to be working in my artist journals again more.
- I’m grateful to be signed up for some art classes with some artists at the top of their careers, and for all sorts of other art opportunities that have come through zoom. I’m grateful too to be giving my own Powerpoint on abstraction to zoom audiences. I’m grateful it looks like Creative Arts Camp is a go again for late summer in Maine, where I’ll be an artist-in-residence, lakeside, doing a bit of singing on the side.
- I’m grateful for the diversity of animal species that still exist.
- I’m grateful for the fact that heat and electricity usually work.
- I’m grateful for everyone who can find their way out of abusive situations. This is not easy, and I applaud their bravery and self care. I don’t think we say this enough, for if we did, the path out might be easier.
- I’m grateful for streaming video on date night evenings, and for snowy weekend evenings fireside, reading (see photo above).
- I’m grateful for audio books that allow me to listen to things that I probably would never wade through with my eyeballs.
- I’m grateful for all four of my book groups and their different focuses and temperaments. These varied groups keep me reading what I would not otherwise, while I also feel free to skip any books I don’t want to read (no horror, ill health melodramas, overt family disfunction, or gratuitous violence for me). Every once in a while I read all four books slated (which happened recently) and I have to say that I’m grateful I usually don’t, since that is a lot!
- I’m also grateful to be continuing to read the Maise Dobbs series of mysteries. She’s a marvelous character and I’m now on the tenth of sixteen of them, reading a bit before bed each night for just fun. Not everything needs to be a stretch; cozy is good too.
- I’m grateful for my husband’s podcast (The Bible Speaks to You) and for the increasing worldwide audience he is reaching. I am grateful there is a sane voice out there speaking of the Bible in reasonable terms, counteracting at least in some measure how Christianity has been hijacked.
- I am grateful the sky is blue today after what seems like a month of clouds.
- I’m grateful that when I make blunders or mistakes, others forgive me. Yes, I do leave cabinets open for my husband to bonk his head on, every rare once-in-a-while I say something I shouldn’t, and recently I sent out messed up blog eblasts that didn’t have working links, while I was trying to update their look. Know that my intentions are good and that your forbearance is appreciated.
- I’m grateful to know that God is Life itself, right here and not afar off. I’m grateful that I believe that Life is a non-material continuum that continues after what is called death.
- I’m grateful “illegal aliens” are now being called “non-citizens,” Much better; more humane, and more accurate.
- I’m grateful for all healthcare workers that have supported so many during this crazy year, both medical ones like my friend shown below, as well as my own tribe of practitioner peers. There is so much valiance in the world and so many caring hearts that work to make their devotion both meaningful and practical. All those tireless efforts are appreciated.
- I’m grateful to see abstraction everywhere, like in the Costco grocery carts shown below, thousands of which were brought in before a snowstorm. I’m grateful we’ve been able to access food without a problem during this whole pandemic crisis.
- I’m grateful for flowers in the house during the winter. The orchids have been amazing, and I had yellow tulips for Valentine’s Day. Now we have blooming tulip bulbs on the table.
- I’m grateful for the beauty and nourishing qualities of snow. I’m grateful when the snow melts too! I’m grateful that warmer temperatures and longer days are on their way.
- I’m grateful for a new resident in the White House, who has rejoined the Paris accord, and reversed already some of the damage of the last four years.
- I’m grateful so many people I know are educating themselves about racism. I’m grateful for a future where all the photos of the people on a blog such as this will not all be white. That we are sensitive to this now is progress, which is the first step. I’m grateful to be learning to be an antiracist.
- I’m grateful for llamas, tricycles, almond croissants from friends, warm nooks where the sun shines, Facetime between our youngest and her stuffed friends from home (see photo below), general silliness, pastels, clients, paintings sold, circles, dental floss, green juice, morning light, limericks, infographics, the New York Times, kisses, pedicures, the reliability of peek-a-boo in generating a smile, surreal sunset reflections glowing in windows seen while at a stoplight (see photo), catalytic converters, first amendment lawyers, turning the calendar over to a new month attendant with its new picture, shovels, add-free Pandora, literacy, compost piles, felted bags, glass snap lids for leftovers, texting, layering, quiet time, bookmarks, glass straws, hair grabbers, tree reflections on the van window (see photo below), candles, wastebaskets, social security numbers, good quotes, lava, garlic, lemons, inspirational books, after dinner cribbage games, pears, and fuzzy pillows.
- I am grateful for all you blog readers, some of whom are shown below. I’m grateful for your presence here, for without you this blog would be nothing. I appreciate you reading, sharing, subscribing, donating, and commenting. I’m so grateful this blog has brought us together and that we can virtually share all this color, these ideas, and this hope, amplifying good together. Thank you for being exactly who you are! What a blessing you–and your gravitation to good– are, both to me and the world!
Tell us some of your grace notes in the comments!