~thankful thursday~wonder woman and spider webs


~30 days of gratitude~ day 14

I’m feeling very grateful for my gainful employment tonight as I sign Quinn up for another big traveling adventure. It is a lot of fun to watch him becoming more and more himself, to find out what he loves and what experiences he asks for, and this travel buff situation is really a fun thing to learn about him. I’m so excited for how these trips will broaden his horizons. The photos are from our trip to New York in August (when he asked if we would be passing through O’Hare and its C terminal dinosaur – see it?) and his time in the painted hills this summer at paleontology camp (taken by his instructor, I wasn’t there). He is basically the most interesting person in the world, so I’m feeling pretty grateful to get to be his mama.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 15

I’m so grateful I don’t need to get an A in gratitude. I’m not taking this class for a grade! Happy Friday, friends.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 16

I am grateful for the comforts of home after a day of hustle and bustle at farmer’s market. Nachos, a hot bath, a wood stove fire, a kitty curled up in a round basket, and another one stretched luxuriously on a cushion. A long session was held for brainstorming creatures originating from various permutations of elements for the video game Quinn is designing on graph paper. Some of the ideas popped into mind without effort: water-air-magic was obviously a rainbow, while fire-air-magic was immediately a dragon. Fire-water-nature took us a few minutes to think of, until we thought of hydrothermal vents. Sometimes we thought of the being (a phoenix must be included!) before we placed it in its elemental category (fire-air-magic-nature). I think it’s going to be a cool game, including angler fish (fire-water), salmon (water-nature), flying fish (air-water-fire-nature), geysers (water-fire-air-magic), narwhals (water-nature-magic), and the northern lights (air-nature-magic). I can’t wait to see how a sandstorm (fire-air-nature), a hot air balloon (fire-air-magic), a giant squid (water-fire-magic-nature), and a lily pad (air-water-nature) will interact.

A little air-nature-magic being told me that unstructured time with loved ones is a grateful way to spend a Saturday.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 17

If there is a rainbow connection, I think gratitude might be a key element of its composition. I know that writing these gratitude posts brings the lovers and dreamers out to visit, and four years in, I love how it starts to feel like a little reunion of kindreds. The sweetest people tell me my gratitude posts are their favorite thing to read in November, that they make them both laugh and cry; this makes me cry, too, and we all laugh, and feel grateful in groups. I am grateful for these connections.

I’ve been weaving a web to intentionally capture gratitude and it’s working. Each year I remark on the way gratitude creates feedback loops of even more things to be grateful for and begets more gratitude. Even on days when I’m having trouble accessing gratitude, a Memory pops up and shows me a younger Quinn, or my handsome fire-builder, or a post about my parents’ farm, where I might already be lingering in spirit on that day, and this whisper of oxygen onto the smoldering coals rekindles the gratitude fire. The Ghost of Gratitude Past is a comforting companion, carrying a time capsule full of love letters to the world mailed to my future self, reverberating forward through time in ever widening ripples.

My own linear experience is like a bead of dew sliding along one strand of the web, and doesn’t even take into consideration the vast array of intersections in the rest of the web. As I obsessively took photos of spider webs this fall, I noticed how my clip art concept of a spider web really differed from the actual evolution and artistry of real spider webs. I walked outside each sunny afternoon for weeks with my camera and positioned myself to look closely, to see incremental changes in details of the webs. Sometimes evidence of a projectile clobbering one section could be seen in the form of a hole; sometimes the repair work to shore up such a hole could be seen the next day. Sometimes the tension would change so that some strands moved closer together, while other strands moved farther apart, creating more space between them. Some sections contained regular rectangles of repetition, while others carried more whimsical triangles and hexagons and trapezoids. Some looked like cat whiskers, areas where strands had become joined in criss-crossing unions so that it was no longer possible to follow one strand on its own without following the strand of its partner, their stories now intertwined. The strands separated and converged. They were brand new and taut, or having experienced more storms, would swing a saggy sway. They all connected back to center one way or another, from where the spiral originated. Sometimes a foundational support strand got taken out, and the whole web wobbled to one side, re-stabilizing in a whole new orientation. Sometimes this meant the sunlight could bounce off the strands at a new angle and the strands bent the light into a rainbow.


~30 days of gratitude~ day 18

Today I am feeling grateful for the convenience of a grocery store two minutes from home where I rarely shop unless I am one ingredient short for the meal I want to make. Lately I am finding myself there more frequently, what with my giant gangly son eating an average of three dinners per night. Tonight it was five dinners. (Send casseroles!) I needed more tortillas and some ricotta cheese for the lasagna. He also ate pasta, a sandwich, and some pancakes, in addition to the lasagna and two burritos. I am grateful that he has now taken on the role of silverware put-away-er, since that job was never going to get done by me, and he apparently started to care that there were never forks in the drawer, only in the drainer. He also does a fine job baking, and I am looking forward to baking pies with him soon. Thankful for the kid in my kitchen.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 19

I had a stressful day. I came home tonight to my Wonder Woman bucket full of the very best popcorn in the world, made by Rich. It probably looks like he acts this way during November just so he gets swooned over on the internet, but he is actually this wonderful all year round and I’m just so grateful for him.



~30 days of gratitude~ day 20

Today I am grateful for clear skies, sunlight and starlight; for fresh starts; and for sandwich hugs.

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