This may be a bad week to talk about bombing. Of any kind. But while our hearts go out to the people of Boston and the victims of the marathon bombing, that very incident makes me want to look around me and appreciate the beauty of my world, especially the human made kind. Maybe it’s just a personal quirk, but whenever I am faced with the difficult or the ugly, the uncomfortable or the sad, the angry or the shocking, the only thing that keeps me from becoming overwhelmed is to make a gratitude list.
I am grateful for my health (yes, I am getting over my cold) and my body’s ability to heal itself. I am grateful for the abiding love of a good man and my love right back to him. I am grateful for a wonderful child who fills me with pride and laughter every day. I am grateful for parents and siblings who are alive and well, and some of my favorite people on the planet. I am grateful for friends who keep me in their hearts and who stay in my heart even when we don’t see as much of each other as we could wish. I am grateful for satisfying work and the people who share it with me. I am grateful that the sun is shining today and that Spring seems to have finally made up its mind to stay in residence…though, fickle flirt that she is, I may yet be fooled on that score. My list could go on and on and on but the thing it all boils down to is joy. I am grateful for the things that fill me with joy. Serendipity, whimsy, bits of beauty where and when I least expected it delighting me and reminding me of all I have to be grateful for.
Today I got to witness first hand another kind of bombing. It is a direct contradiction to the Boston bombing and touched all my joy buttons. The Mid-Coast Yarn Ninjas finally got to celebrate spring and bring some beauty to our fair city.
(Forgive the blurring; these gals want to remain somewhat anonymous. They don’t really do commissions and they want the focus to stay on the installations rather than on them, personally)
In a world where things can go very badly very quickly, seemingly randomly, I am grateful that there are flowers. And in some places, those flowers are made by human hands and placed with love in places where they will bring joy. Yesterday, this was a fence at a neighborhood playground. Now it is a bit of public art intended to delight random strangers.
A network of people came together to make this happen. Some folks knit or crocheted the flowers while others made leaves and stems. Still others did the actual installation. Like Spring, there is an evanescent quality to this beautiful thing. It won’t last. We all know it won’t last. But while it’s here, it stirs the soul. And even while I know these little treasures will be gone some day, I’ll remember watching these lovely folks, on their knees in the dirt, making magical imaginary flowers grow before my eyes.
And long after they are gone, the lovely folks and their lovely flowers, when the world grows dark and I feel afraid or vexed, I’ll be able to add them to my gratitude list. For the celebration of Spring, for the radical act of beauty, for the physical manifestation of whimsy, however brief, I thank you Ninjas. Remember Keats? He was right; a thing of beauty is a joy forever.