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 taken photographs of some of them with my iPhone, which you can see in this post.
So let’s start this gratitude list with:
- wonderful, roaring, cozy fires in our fireplace this winter.
- that after 10+ years, I have both new glasses and new sunglasses.
- that my husband shovels the snow.
- that we had a houseful for five weeks over the holidays, and also that we’re back to just the two of us.
- that our daughter still enjoys her menagerie of friends and they now have their own Instagram account (see here).
- that we had a nice time in Mexico, at the wedding in Dallas, and that I got to go to the Van Gogh exhibit too.
- that our son’s room is finally boxed up and in transition to becoming a storage space for my paintings, which will free up all sorts of other space around here.
- that there is a groundswell of support for Ukraine, including across party lines and from usually neutral countries.
- that we donated three boxes of books to the library sale from our living room alone (prompted by cleaning up after getting our new green chair).
- that our daughter wanted so many of the books from her room, which we are boxing up to send to her.
- that we repotted my mothers huge and rambling jade plant and gave it new, special succulent dirt, and a hearty pruning.
- that we have three lemons coming on our Meyer lemon tree.
- that we’ve had remarkable amaryllis extravagantly blooming at our house this winter, along with dozens of ongoing orchid blossoms.
- that my little, red, stick shift, turbo, sport, hatchback, Honda Civic is now paid off. I can’t believe it is five years old already.
- that we’ve had the realization we want to do what is either a 9 or a 10; we are finding this prioritization tool to be profound.
- that I’m making progress on my New Year’s resolution for more margin in my life, which I’ve been utilizing mostly for more personal prayer time, as well as contemplation in my artist journal. Soon there will be more walks!
- that I’m starting to sort out my office/studio, a little bit at a time.
- that Covid seems to be lessening as a threat, and the thought about it feels less oppressive.
- that we are now back in church for both Wednesday evening meetings as well as Sunday mornings.
- for reading good books, and for giving myself the freedom to not finish books that aren’t doing it for me.
- that I hear from my daughters and sisters often, and for the good progress all of them are making.
- that my husband’s podcast (The Bible Speaks to You) is helping so many people from such diverse backgrounds in 133 countries.
- that in terms of revenue (having reviewed it for taxes), as well as healings, my Christian Science practice had its best year yet in 2021.
- that my talk on abstraction to the Maine Pastel Society was well attended, and that so many of you (including some of my heroes!) watched it on video. Grateful that the video of it is available to the public (see here).
- that I’ve signed up for a plein air retreat taking place this June, applied for an artist residency in August, and am scheduled to teach an abstract worksop in pastel in September.
- that I’ve discovered our three favorite breads: Dave’s Killer 21 Grain organic bread (grocery store and Costco with buns as well), Miche (pictured below from Wave Hill Breads), and the organic peasant loaf (from Bread Alone). Grateful for these yummy, semi-local, values driven bakeries! After years of zero bread in my life this is huge. I’ve also discovered that air-frying a piece of the peasant bread with a bit of butter on one side ,and cheese on the other side, with a sprinkle of garlic powder is absolutely heavenly. Every bite is a grace note.
- that more clement walking weather will soon be back upon us.
- that our youngest comes home for spring break next week.
- that I found my mother’s oatmeal raisin cookie recipe, and now the house can smell like home.
- that I’ve realized that March is for cleaning your house. I always used to say it is the only not-great month here, and I’ve always said it is the time to travel and be gone from here. But now I realize, it is the perfect time to get house projects done! When people spoke of “spring cleaning” I always thought of May, which is so lovely I want to be outside. I now realize, at least here for me, that euphemism means: March. So glad for cleaning up, scrubbing, sorting, decluttering, and freshening up, with more to come!
- that our new pottery wheel has come (the big box in the photo below) and that we’ll be back making pottery by the summer, in our garage or outside, which has been on hiatus since 2019, when I lost access to the studio I rented time in. I’m grateful to be partners in this creative project with my husband and our youngest daughter, too.
- I’m also grateful for food cooked me by others, for feeding guests again in our home, for texture everywhere, for all my scarves newly ironed and now organized in a way they’ll stay more at the ready, for Costco, for a new Hispanic market in town where we can get Maria cookies, for awesome sunsets and sunrises, for my husband being interviewed on all sorts of podcasts, for the new green chair– such a throne it is, for sorting out, cleaning and reconstituting my pastels, which feels like a whole, new dispensation, for new watercolors that I got at deep discount, for artist friends everywhere posting artwork in my feed, for the Christian Science periodicals, for the Ridgefield Clergy Association, for collections of shells, for my red, boiled wool Haflinger slippers with their great arch support, for my book groups and that soon we’ll be in person again, for zoom keeping our lives afloat these last two years, for new regular attendees at church, for good ideas on our church revitalization committee, for clean sheets and vacuuming under the bed, that spring is around the corner and the air has already softened, for daylight savings time and dinner while it is light out, and that our mangoes are ripe…
- I’m grateful you, dear blog readers, are here reciprocally blessing me as you receive my daily installments of this online journal. Thank you for reading, commenting on, and sharing my posts. I’m grateful to each and every one of you for your patience with me, your kindness, for being interested in wisdom and growth, color and healing, and for your desire to amplify good in your own lives. Blessings on you all.
Put some of your own grace notes in the comments!