Stop, Drop, and Be Grateful

Coffe, camera, and a notebook.

This is what I call a great morning…

31 days into the new year — how are your fairing on your New Year’s resolution?

I don’t think I’ve ever really made a New Year’s resolution — other than the typical “eat healthier” and “exercise more” standards, with a possible “be you, fiercely” thrown in.

The only memory I have of making a resolution was in the year 2000, when I was 10 years old: I folded an Origami lantern, wrote short wishes on tiny pieces of paper, and slid the wishes into the folded orb. There must have been hundreds of wishes stuffed into that tiny paper lantern. I held the orb in my hands as the clocked ticked down, and smashed it open at midnight, sending paper everywhere — tiny, 10-year-old wishes rained down like confetti. My resolution was one grand statement: that all of the wishes that came out of the lantern would come true…

Some of those wishes came true eventually — I’m not going to admit to them here, that is another story altogether — but the act represented an acknowledgement that I could make those wishes come true with my own effort and intention. Lofty thoughts for a 10-year-old.

Since that experience, I don’t recall ever making a resolution; I have no recollection of committing to a solid initiative of a year-long life-changing goal of any kind….

What makes this year different, you ask? Well, I’ll answer you: because I made my resolution before the idea of making a resolution even sparked, when “resolution” was not a word I would attach to my momentary wish for change.

Back in December, I was puppy-sitting my big brother’s Husky. My partner and I took him for a walk to our nearby park. A light snowfall covered the ground; only a hint of green grass poked through the dusting, and the sidewalk looked checkered as the snow hugged the pebbly surface.

Just the notion of this near-empty world was enough the make me stop and observe; there were a few people out-and-about, but the silence was deafening… Alongside my partner and best friend, walking this Husky pup with exaggerated spunk and curiosity… The beauty of it all struck me, and I was instantly overwhelmed with gratitude for everything that had led to that exact moment in our lives.

After we walked through the park, we took the path back by the overlook of Lake Champlain. Just then, we came across a note written in the light snow: “I love this beautiful world.” My thoughts exactly, my friend.

Provoked by a simple message written in the snow by a stranger, everything clicked: Moments like this — moments of beauty and awareness — exist and occur everyday, I have just been too distracted to be present in them, or to recognize their fleeting beauty….

SO. Suffice it to say, that morning back in December has created a tumult of experiences: moments when I have been able to stop, drop everything, and be grateful for the present.

I guess to stop and experience gratitude is just as much of a resolution as anything else, but I think it carries a little more weight for me right now…

If you would like to see the video I captured of the note in the snow, view it here on Instagram.

Thank you for reading — I am so unbelievably grateful for this little corner of the internet that I am able to call home, and for the readers that stop by now-and-again.

As always, create something beautiful today,

p.s: The featured image in this post is from one of my many moments of gratitude. My partner and I teamed up to volunteer our artistic skills to a local city-planning initiative: we were assigned an aspect of our fair city, I took some photos and he wrote an accompanying poem. The pair will be on display next month at the project celebration, alongside other projects created by other teams. My partner and I met working on a publication together, and we quickly formed this dynamic-art & written word-duo, and it has been a while since we have been able to team up like this. I am so glad we were given this opportunity to create together! :D


4 thoughts on “Stop, Drop, and Be Grateful

  1. I love your aspirations when you were ten, reminding me when I was that old making my own dreams. :) Thank you for this pleasant reminder about being grateful. I often feel the same way when strolling about my neighborhood or campus.

    • Dreaming was easier when we were young — the biggest downside of growing up!
      Small moments of clarity help to bring me to that child-like mindset, and allows me to be inspired for big ideas. Maintaining that clarity and inspiration, however, is the challenge!
      Best of luck on all of your aspirations!

  2. The world was more full of wonder to childish eyes not yet conscripted by the shared reality of centuries of conformism. If I could look with innocent eyes again, I would b=feel more complete and less tainted by the dogma and despite of this world. I too was part of the project you have mentioned, and was delighted to write words to a beautiful photograph by a young lady. Her eyes saw, and my mouth spoke.

    • But Barbie, you have the ability to see through the eyes of your characters! The beautiful thing about that is you not only get to experience a life from another perspective, but you get to shed the burden of your current existence. We all have a burdened soul — this world is a tough one — but the fluidity of story allows for us to slide into a new realm for a little while. In your case, your realm is one of fantasy and magic — a realm in which many children live on a daily basis; a beautiful place where a childlike wonder is the norm and a way of life.
      Thanks for reading, Barbie! I look forward to reading your poetry at the unveiling!

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