Grateful Hearts

Lee's LeavesThanksgiving is a season of gathering gratitude, spreading it feast-fashion around a table to be shared with family and friends…as well as the groaning table of festive foods that takes days to prepare and minutes to consume. It’s one of my favorite meals to cook. And one of my favorites to eat. But Thanksgiving is more than the fourth Thursday of November. It’s a day in and day out state of being. It’s about being mindful with a grateful heart of all the things we have to be thankful for.

So this week’s art activity at the Lighthouse was a two-parter. First, the ladies were invited to do a copy change of Chief Dan George’s poem And My Hearts Soars. They were instructed to keep the same poetic structure, but to personalize it in simple lines relevant to their own lives. The results are frequently delightful and give each of us a welcome window into what makes their hearts soar. Second was a water-colored array of over-lapping fall leaves on paper to be folded into booklet covers for their finished poems.

I especially enjoyed Theresa’s because it paints a sweet picture of her family and favorite forms of fun. It also made my heart soar to see her growing perseverance – not giving up to make sure her finished handwritten copy wasn’t crooked.

And My Heart Soars
The camping trips with my family
The crackling of the fire
The roasting of the marshmallows
Speaks to me
Trail riding on my horse
Watching baby animals play
Milking the mama cow
Speaks to me
The dancing to music
The stillness of the night
The birds singing in the morning
Speaks to me
The smiles of my children
The belly laughter of my grandchildren
The feeling of God’s presence
And gratefulness to be alive
They speak to me
And my heart soars and sings with the angels

Then there was Christina’s woven with her gratitude of relationships, creation and continuing recovery.

And My Hearts Soars
The smiling eyes of my children
The fun times with close friends
The touching words that come from inside
Speaks to me
The smell of ocean wind
The sound of rain
The taste of warm cocoa
Speaks to me
The love from a man
The feeling of being sober
The bonding of family members
Speaks to me
The kindness of a stranger
The quality time with a grandmother
The sound of long distant friend’s voice
and the achievement of goals
They speak to me 
And my heart soars with excitement unexpected!

Lorrain's Fallen LeavesBut Lorraine took her poem and art work an entirely different direction. These variations on a theme always amazes me because I know the women are often responding to the co-creative voice within rather than doing the project “wrong” because they haven’t listened. I’m grateful when they listen to and trust their creative promptings. That makes my heart soar!

Rather than paint a series of overlapping autumn leaves in different warm colors, Lorraine arranged hers as descending fallen leaves representing her fall into addiction. Yet those fallen dead leaves give rise to her recovery. She poem says it well.

And My Heart Soars
The smile of insanity
The dark of fear
The contact of rage
Speaks to me
The mask of a liar
The laughter of evil
The stillness of murder
Speaks to me
The blood of trauma
The camaraderie of gossip
The bondage of hell
Speaks to me
The power of worship
The stand of truth
The eyes of Jesus
They speak to me
And my heart soars – Victory of the Lamb

Now that’s what I call grateful hearts!!!

May your Thanksgivings be full of those heart soaring things and folks that fill you with gratitude.


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