1. that ever-present roof over my head, which provides warmth and shelter
2. the ability to express myself through my words and through my art
3. the ability to whittle out a continued career after nearly 30 years of providing for myself, and for the boys, as a single mother and single woman, now in the middle of her 50's with boys grown and out of the nest.
4. dearest friends. you know who you are. you know why you matter. i love you, so much.
5. my readers here at ornamental. you matter very much, as well. thanks for continuing to come back, for seven years and heading into year number eight (hard to believe) of comments and of sharing, of listening, of responding, of simply being there.
6. my mother and sister and the boys. i love them with all of my heart.
7. the memories of my father and brother. their spirits continue to live on through me, in me, around me. they are in the wind, the trees, the waving grass, the flight of birds, the paths that lead through the woods.
8. a doctor who kindly listens to me, who is willing to work with me on medication adjustments, who helps me with samples, who understands, who takes the time to sit and talk. who treats me like a person, who thinks that i am worthy of being tended.
9. my four legged wild child, who keeps me heading out into the woods on walks and adventures. his approach to life is crazy and earnest and innocent, and i hope i will have half of his energy ten years down the road.
12. lessons that are learned every.single.day.
13. changes of seasons
14. winter. i used to hate it, but ever since i moved deep into the countryside seven and 1/2 years ago, i've grown to love the bare tree branches, the exposed bones of the land - the rocks, the streams, the roots, the clear forest floors. snow. expanded mountain range view when leaves are gone. flannel sheets. good books. a fire in the hearth. homemade soups. cinnamon rolls, also homemade, recipe by the pioneer woman, ree hammond. essential oils burning into the night (thank you, wendyxo). old movies. red wine and chocolate. french pressed coffee every morning. flannel pajamas printed with clouds, worn soft and thin by years of wear. cashmere scarves wrapped twice around my neck. fingerless gloves. the sound of the woods, all quiet now that most birds have flown south. the occasional red tailed hawk circling, overhead. two glimpses of owls, two days apart. groups ("murders") of crows, calling into the dusk. the thinnest crescent new moon, setting into the deep pink and blue western dusk above the mountain range that i can see from here. poetry. memoirs. ken burns on pbs this sunday and monday night. plans for traveling to alabama for thanksgiving. candles. hot showers with bath gel that is scented with citrus and evergreen. hot water. electricity. laundry, washed and dried and folded and put away. a new day. a new evening. a good night's sleep. life.
15. jewelry i made that speaks of silver linings. jewelry that i was a little hesitant to list and sell, concerned that it might seem like exploitation of the emotions i've suffered these past few months. jewelry that all sold in spite of those hesitations, all 30 pieces, in less than 48 hours. jewelry that continues to be appreciated and purchased and collected by those to whom my work speaks, to those who understand. i will never, ever, ever, take this for granted. ever.
i received quite a few emails from readers who were dismayed that the jewelry was gone before they had a chance to purchase. i've taken orders for several "silver lining" pendants, and will be more than happy to take several more, with the understanding that it will most likely be after i return from alabama that the pendants get made. these slender tokens of affirmation mean that much more to me, knowing that they resonate with so many of you. i am reminded of the way that sunshine breaks through clouds after fast and furious and heavy rain, the way that light shines down at times when we least expect to see it illuminating the path that lays before us, open and waiting and right there at our feet.
if i don't have a chance to get back here before thanksgiving, i wish each and every one of you a time of love and warmth and closeness with family, with chosen family, with four legged companions, with friends. i wish you a time of grateful reflection for all that has been showered upon you. i wish you light at the end of the tunnel, i wish you walks in quiet late autumn woods, i wish you time to sit and listen to the hush that softly surrounds you. i wish you peace. i wish you calm. i wish you deepest, heartfelt gratitude for all good things that life happens to bring your way. xo