I am grateful to have met Diana Pepper in person for the first time yesterday. We have been working together for over three years. She is the owner of Tree Frog Farm on Lummi Island, two hours north of Seattle, WA. She makes my own personal vial of flower and tree essences every six weeks. I was out here doing a Pacific Northwest college tour with my son, Miles and decided to make the drive to meet Diana in person. Lummi Island is located off the coast of The Lummi Nation. I got the sense of how special this place is right away. Meeting Diana and visiting Tree Frog Farm goes right up there to one of the top life experiences.
I am grateful for lilacs. They have the most wonderful scent and always seem to blossom in time for Mother’s Day. Growing up we had a lilac bush in our yard. My sister and I would cut off branches and make a bouquet for our mother. This year I bought two bouquets at the local deli; one for my sister and one for my sister. We all were taken back to those earlier years with an inhale.
Two weeks ago I found out that I am losing my studio. The building is going residential and all tenants have to be out by March 31st. I am grateful to have had three incredible studios in this building during the last fourteen years. I am grateful to have had this river front studio for the past two years. It is both inspiring and soothing. What you can not see in this picture is that it is on alignment with the Empire State Building. The light is glinting off of it and obliterating it. I am cherishing the moments I have left to create in this space. Gratitude slows things down and grounds me.
In late July, this family of four children and their mom, an old friend, stayed overnight, visiting from the United Kingdom. I was happy to prepare for their visit, as it allowed me to get my life in order. When they did arrive, it was fun to share the neighborhood with them. One of my favorite things to do with guests from out of town is to bring them to the Dumbo beach and encourage them to make a wish when they throw rocks in the river. It provided the perfect puncuation to the end of their first day in New York City. I am grateful for traditions and wishes.
I am grateful for the early morning beach walks I took earlier this month while visiting Fire Island. It is truly magnificent to witness the sun coming up over the horizon. I can’t think of a greater gift then the start of a new day. Often I would be the only one out on the beach except for the sea gulls. It seemed as if we were all in agreement of the wonder of this spectacle. Even the waves seemed to be offering applause with each rolling acknowledgement.
In the summertime, a fire escape can be a whole extra room in a New York City apartment. Last Sunday I took a blanket, pillow, the New York Times, my lunch and a glass of lemonade out onto the fire escape and soaked up the sun. There was a light breeze and from this perch the East River is visible. I am grateful for my secret hang out. It is so wonderful to get some fresh air and to observe the neighborhood from above.
I am grateful for the color combination of “cornflower blue” and “aquamarine.” Ever since I was a little girl with my box of sixty four Crayola crayons I have loved these two colors side by side. Imagine the joy this wall on the corner of Houston and Broadway in Manhattan brings me. There is something about the power of repetition and the use of a “grid.” This wall just sings and everytime I pass it, my spirit is elevated.
I am grateful for the appearance of pansies in Spring. I spotted this bed of them walking up Sixth Avenue the other day and I immediatlely thought of my grandpa. He was a banker turner painter and would often share his musings and observations with me. “Look, Tara! You see the faces?!” he would ask me. Whenever I see this flower I look more closely to see the “faces” and I think of my grandfather and smile.
The other morning I was on the crowded F train when I looked up to see this message. I asked the owner of this ring if she minded if I took a picture of it. She obliged and a conversation ensued. I learned that her father had given it to her before she moved to New York from their home in Atlanta. I asked if he was still alive and told her a little bit about my dad. We parted ways at Rockefeller Center with our hearts more full. I am grateful for the power of love and the fact that you can find it everywhere, even on the train.
I am grateful for when an image appears right after seeing it. Last week, while attending an event by Nitika Chopra in Manhattan, I had the pleasure of meeting author, Barb Schmidt. The cover of her book, The Practice – Simple Tools For Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, has an illustration of a dandelion’s seeds being dispersed into the air. I was struck by this and we had a loving conversation about its associations, as well as her new book. I am grateful for the copy of it that was in the gift bag. I look forward to reading it and gaining a more in depth connection to inner peace.