My art and writing are two channels I use to express gratitude for all the goodness in my life.  Being creative requires me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new avenues.  When I write and paint from the heart, everything makes sense.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my joy with you.

Hello, August

IMG_1913 Hello August, I am so happy to see you.

July was a difficult month.  Learning that my brother has stage 4 pancreatic cancer sent me into an emotional tailspin that I am just coming out of.  It hit all of us so hard; our dad died of cancer when he was 60, I battled it twice in the past seven years and maybe I'm naive but I thought that it would not be a battle we would have to face again.  We'd paid our cancer dues, you know?  But to paraphrase the song "Wait for It" from the musical Hamilton, cancer doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints and it takes and it takes and it takes...

I am so grateful that we live close to him and his family and they know that they can count on us to be there whenever they need us.  He has begun treatment and is handling it as best he can and...well...we are just staying positive.  My brother is a warrior, just like our dad was and just like me.  So many people have offered support and prayers and we are so thankful for the love that surrounds us.

So yes, August, it is good to see you.  Today I awoke with a determination to not lose sight of the blessings that are in our life in spite of the heartache.  I have returned to my meditation practice and am going to make an effort to walk each day.  Being outside in nature, walking Popeye, just listening to the birds singing and the rustling of leaves in a summer breeze soothes me.  I'm going to take advantage of the fresh vegetables we receive weekly from our CSA and plan healthy meals.

Good things are happening this month.  On Wednesday I am volunteering with The Hole in the Wall Gang at the Traveler's Golf Tournament (I get to be one of those people who holds up the 'Quiet' sign to the crowd). This weekend a dear friend is visiting from Florida and our daughter who lives in Dubai will be visiting for a few weeks.  We will be celebrating her birthday (which occurred in May, but there is not a deadline on celebrations, right?) I am volunteering once a week at Ann's Place (a wonderful organization which provides services for cancer survivors) and the amazing Michelle GD is mentoring me in a photography course (more on that later).

This morning after meditating I randomly opened a passage from Julia Cameron's book called Transitions.  This is the message it had for me:  When our priorities are in order, our lives flow with purpose and ease.  Often the very act of ordering and acknowledging our priorities seems to cue the Universe to support us in our goals.  

August, my priorities are in order.  I am looking forward to seeing what this month has in store for me.  Let's do this.

Giving Thanks