Gratitude journal page

Do not take anything for granted — not one smile or one person or one rainbow or one breath, or one night in your cozy bed. - Terri Guillemets

I often wish we had Thanksgiving here in Australia, it seems like such a lovely practice to have with your family and friends. I think we really are the lucky country, still, no matter what we grumble and moan about and we have so much to be grateful for.

We have so much freedom and beauty here. Where we live, the kangaroos play, feed, and rest, at our back fence and the koalas climb the trees. At present we have a couple of nesting crows who are visiting our house. They fly in to our back deck, and take the marbles that I have on the top of one of my pot plants and fly off again. I'd love to be able to see their nest, I imagine it looks beautiful with all the colours mixed in with the bits of branches.

I'm grateful for so many of the everyday things around our home, the gardens, the animals and the cup of coffee shared at our garden table. What about you... what are some of the things that you notice everyday that you are grateful for? I recently did a gratitude journal page even though I wasn't feeling all that grateful at the time, just practicing gratitude had me back in a grateful spirit again... I guess that is the beauty of gratitude.

First flower of the season

Day of the Dead 2013

Day of the Dead - images from left Catrinas from Wikipedia - headstone I found in Macquarie Park recently - marigolds photo from Anony Mouse's photobucket

I think that one of the things I love most about our society is the traditions that I learn from other cultures. I've only become aware of Day of the Dead over the last couple of years. I find myself so drawn to how people honour their dead, while connecting with family and friends on this day to remember those gone before.

From Wikipedia... "People go to cemeteries to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages, as well as photos and memorabilia, of the departed. The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed."

This painting by Mel Rudgley grabbed my attention when we visited The Deck Cafe in Dee Why a few weeks ago.

I'm about to attempt a painting based on Day of The Dead - one that each year can be a focus for honouring those that have gone before. Death is never an easy topic to talk about, yet it will happen to each of us one day, and along the way we will have to say a final goodbye to those we care about. Creating an artwork or having someone along side you to help you to create your honouring artwork is one way to help with the grieving process.

On this day of the dead 2013... remembering and sending my love to all those who have gone before.