Giving Thanks

As I sit here, curled up under a blanket I pulled from the hope chest at the end of my bed, a new journal at my side, I am reflecting on my day. I helped cook dinner, spending hours on my feet to make turkey and twice-baked potatoes and veggies. In-between working on bits, I finally bound together my new journal, as the journal I started when in Florida is finally full.

But this morning, sitting at my desk, I spied a stack of cardstock. I cut leaves from a variety of colors and walked out into the living room where my family was gathered and handed them out. "Write one or two things you're thankful for on each leaf," I told them. "I'll string them together and hang them where we can all see them."

I can now look over at the dining room, where a colorful array of cardstock leaves hang from a string under family photos, mismatched handwriting showing what we're thankful for. In moments when we feel life is working against us, we can look up there and be reminded of all our blessings.

This is living an artful life. Bringing art and creativity into daily life, allowing yourself to express your true self, be a kid again, remember what it was like to play.

And I have to remember that none of this would be possible, this art, these journals on the couch next to me, the joy of working on beautiful new papers, teaching houses of women play and art and creative living....waking each morning knowing I am in control of my own day, my destiny, even if projects pile up and I feel pulled in so many directions I don't know which way is up....none of this is possible without YOU.

Yes, you! You, the reader, the fan, the one who reads my ebook or loves a painting so much, you buy a print, the one who enjoys my art and words and ideas, so you come take a class or join the Ning community. You, my dear, lovely darling, make all this possible.

You have given an ill girl a dream and a job she can actually do. You have given her the chance to make her own way and create things every day she can be proud of. You have given her dreams back, those she felt were long gone.

Thank you for being part of my tribe. For coming along on the ride. Seeing emotion and value in the work I do, the art I create, the adventures I go on, both out in the world and deep into my soul.

Today I am so thankful for all of you, those who I've met, who I've only spoken to, and those I have yet to meet.

Thank you.

Samie Kira