Every time I sit on this front porch, I am filled with gratitude. For the income that is just enough to sustain this roof over my head and includes all the comforts this woman desires. For the leftovers in the refrigerator (and for the refrigerator and the electricity to power it). For the friends and family who are wonderfully supportive, each in their own way. For the beauty in each new day…
Met some new friends yesterday including the wonderful woman and her puppy, Murphy, at a rustic store that features the work of local craftspeople. My favorites were the hand-carved bed with inlaid birch bark panel, and porcelain plates hand-painted with fir branches and pinecones.What incredible craftsmanship! While I am not a big shopper, just walking through the store I took myself on an Artist’s Date . . . a concept created by Julia Cameron in her book “The Artist’s Way” for nourishing our creative selves. And, the owner generously made phone calls and hooked me up with other creative souls within the community.
Taking photographs with this little Nikon Coolpix L24 has been a fun way to get creative and record my adventures. For years, I used a hand me down digital camera that only turned on 7 out of 10 times. A birding friend took an amazing range of both close-up and telephoto shots using a Coolpix, so I added one to my wish list. Fast forward 4 years – I was still using the on again, off again camera when I moved to the big city. Before closing my old bank account, I scanned through the catalog of incentive gifts offered by the bank. I had accumulated exactly enough Award Points over the years to qualify for a free Coolpix. Cool!
Much anticipated,however, the shiny red camera stayed in its packaging for months. Somehow, I just couldn’t bring myself to read through the instruction book and learn “one more new thing” while living in the city. Day 1 in the cabin, though, and the camera came out of hiding So did I!
So did a huge salamander – I believe it to be a Southern Gray-Cheeked Salamander, but my amphibian identification skills are limited to having taken part in only one salamander survey. The camera wasn’t in hand at the time, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching her traverse the porch and hear a delicate “Plink, plink, plink” down each porch step!
An Eastern gray squirrel came to visit. And a Rough green snake. And a metallic green Bark-gnawing beetle. Of course, the camera was in the house at the times these new friends made their appearance. So now my goal is to be camera-ready more of the time, and grateful for the natural world and my place within it all of the time.
Think: When’s the last time you sat still and took in all the activity in the world around you? What are you most grateful for today? How do you express that gratitude?
Say: Tell those who support you how much you value that support. Ask for more support if you need it.
Do: Express your gratitude and activate your inner artist by sketching, painting, dancing, writing, singing (you get the idea). Today.