365 Grateful: 08.19.2014

365 - 08-19-2014Saw this combination of signage on the street corner and had to laugh. Can I not get there from here? As the song goes, ” Sign, sign, everywhere a sign blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

There are signs everywhere. The trick is deciding which path is ours. How do we know which to ignore and which to follow, when to buck the crowd and when to toe the line? I’m actually grateful for signs, because they help us get our bearings and make choices when we’re lost. Once we’re under way again, most signs lose their power because they can’t tell us anything other than a direction. Does this path resonate with us? Is there heart in the journey? That’s when we look beyond the signs to the path itself. Be grateful for signs, but be willing to leave that gratitude behind when the path no longer serves. Go ahead; tun right toward the flea market. There’s more than one way.

365 Grateful: 08.18.2014

365 - 08-18-2014Sitting on my front porch in the waning light of the day, I was struck by how the light illuminated our small, lacy cut-leaf maple. I’ve been thinking about the seasons and how aspects of our lives mimic the cyclical seasons. What season are you in, right now, in your life? Personal or professional. Are you in the deep richness and fullness that is summer? Or the crisp maturity and wisdom that is Autumn? Perhaps the dormant, sleepy, death of winter or the fertile potential of spring with its myriad of opportunities and seeds of possibility. Whatever season is it, be grateful, for each is necessary, and each leads on to the next phase. It’s how we continuously transform ourselves.

365 Grateful: 08.17.2014

365 - 08-17-2014
Grateful for the ability to meditate, to zone out and relax at will, much as this mallard tunes out the clamor of the world by tucking his head beneath his wing. We all have the ability to become more mindful and focus on the moment, and with a little practice, we may also learn how to tuck and tune out.

365 Grateful: 08.16.2014

365 - 08-16-2014

I absolutely love this. Women in the Native American Yakima tribe were the keepers of history, passing it down through generations using a time ball, or “ititamat.” Young women used hemp twine to record life histories by tying different knots for days and weeks and adding special beads for significant moments. Ititamat means “counting the days” or “counting calendar,” and the ball of twine grew with each passing day, month, year, and event worth counting.

We could all use a tradition like this. Imagine how precious we’d hold each moment if we captured it like this. Each knot and bead would evoke a memory or stand for something special. Here, our history, our lives, all tied up into something so simply and elegantly captured to be passed along to our daughters, and to our sons.

When we aged, just like the venerable Yakima women, we’d use those knots and beads to remember what meant so much to us, and to recount those important moments to others, and to ourselves. Perhaps painstakingly capturing them in a ball of twine would somehow make us more grateful for the richness of our lives and the things that really mattered rather than what society told us should matter. Grateful for ancient wisdom.

This time ball is on display at the Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

365 Grateful: 08.15.2014

365 - 08-15-2014Not only grateful but incredibly excited to see our house take shape. It’s amazing the difference between bare earth and footers. And then again between footers and foundation. But from foundation to framed-in is awesome! We stopped over after work on Friday to see extreme progress. I think we really will have a house!

365 Grateful: 08.13.2014

365 - 08-13-2014What’s to be grateful about getting eight stitches in your cheek plus a lovely shiner?

Well, my glasses didn’t break (didn’t even get scratched). The blood came out of my brand new purse really easily (we’ll find out how my shirt and pants fare later). I got to ride in a wheelchair for the first time ever (but only because the nurse at work made me).

I had my first CAT scan (nothing broken, shattered, or fractured in my cheek; a hung jury on the nose but only because it’s too swollen to tell if there’s a hairline fracture (I’m betting not)).No concussion. The ER was actually pretty efficient and quick.

That’s quite a bit to be grateful for, don’t you think? I can put up with that caterpillar on my cheek for a week, and a black eye always offers an opportunity to be a creative storyteller.