Here is “Gratitude,” the newest addition to my Plant Mama collection of paintings.
I started working on this painting in springtime. Here in Oregon, we have the most magnificent spring bloom I’ve ever seen.
For a few weeks of the year, I walk around with my jaw dropped in amazement at the variety of showy flowers all popping at once. It is one of those simple things that never ceases to fill my heart with wonder.
Among my favorite blooming trees and plants where I live are the magnolia trees. There are different varieties. The most incredible ones to me are the ones with enormous flowers, some of the petals more than six inches long!
Even if I am carrying some heaviness or sadness—and these past few years have held so much heaviness and sadness in the world—seeing a magnolia tree in full bloom always stops me in my tracks and makes me feel a deep and genuine gratitude.
Part of it is the gratitude of being privileged to get to see such a beautiful thing. You can feel this by dwelling on anything lovely in nature. But this feeling is magnified by the fact that I know the blooming is so fleeting.
It will be at its peak for only a few days, and before you know it, all the petals will drop to the ground and it will be over.
This painting is my illustration of that emotion.
On the topic of having a gratitude practice: I am on a streak of 850+ days using a gratitude journal app called Presently. I recommend it! It is not a solution to any problems, but I have found that consistently compelling myself to think of something I’m grateful for every single day is a gentle way to keep perspective through the ups and downs of life.