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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

The Gratefulness Factor

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Earth Melody

Earth Melody

In conversation with a friend recently she happened to mention that these troubling and difficult times we have been going through, make us realize what is really important in out lives.  I know we have all been struggling, some more that others due to circumstances or personality.  I feel deeply for anyone who has been alone through this ordeal.

We take a lot for granted in our daily lives, but when it is gone, we all of a sudden realize how important something was, or conversely how unimportant it was.   We have all learned to live without a lot of things.  Maybe we even have started to think, were they necessary? What really is important?

My family came front and center during this time, as it did for many of us.  I was fortunate in that some of my family moved closer and we could make a safe “bubble”, and others I miss terribly because I have not been able to see them. I have missed my friends, students, and some personal “creature comforts”, those things intended to provide us with that little extra luxury. But for the most part my thankful list is long.

I am thankful I am a “creative”.  It has served me well in the kitchen. And I’ll bet most of you have learned new ways to use what you have in the pantry.

It gave me extra time to do some gardening which I love, but usually need to rush through. I am thankful for the peace and tranquility I find there…the extra time it gave me to observe nature.


Remembering                  Pastel over watercolor

I appreciate creative time in the studio.  There were no deadlines and I could explore new avenues.  I also have enjoyed watching the freedom of my two-year-old grandson paint and scribble and remember how important it is for us to let our “little child” out. No judgement!

I am really thankful for other artists, their music, their writings, and the movies that show such imagination and creativity. I found a lot of relaxation videos on YouTube.  I have traveled the world and gone places I will never get to and enjoyed seeing places I have been.   I am thankful for technology although I still find it baffling.  I learned to be good at Facetime and learned to set Zoom meetings, and thank goodness for texting… a quick conversation. It has kept us connected.

When a person has time on their hands, reflection and meditation are good practices that lead to creativity.  Time for solitary reflection truly feeds the creative mind. I am grateful for that time, that this pandemic has given me, to do that.  This time in isolation and partial isolation has brought me to a point where I think I may want to streamline my life.

Adversity can be a good motivator for the creative mind. We are natural problem solvers.  Shauna Niequist said it well. “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

Stay safe and be creative.  Carolyn

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