Thank you notes at lap 57…..

To celebrate as I begin another jaunt around the sun;  57 brand new thank you notes:
(in no particular order)

Thank you,  Everett Road,  for being a slow leisurely ride for bicycles pretty much all day every day.
You make me slow down and think about how much value lives
inside each package of skin.

Thank you,  big butter-colored house with the crazy-steep driveway
where I get to lay my head down safe nights to sleep warm against the mountain.
For being loving shelter and home base.
For sharing your waterfall music and and for standing strong in all the storms.

Thank you,  Janet and David,  for sharing your lives and the big buttery house high above Everett Road.
For renting us the sweet apartment on the hillside and letting me plant my flowers there.
For being Lucy and Ricky to our Ethel and Fred:)
For being the best neighbors ever and friends beyond compare.

Thank you,  Yoga with Adriene,
for walking me through some moves on the mat
that help un-do the gnarly stuff that life sometimes does.
For being there anytime and with humor.

Thank you, 57 year old knees,  for how you keep bending me down low
so I can coax things to grow.
And for mostly cooperating with my shenanigans along the way.

Thank you,  US mail,  for trekking my words far and fast
for the simple price of a postage stamp.

Thank you,  Blue Ridge Vineyard,  for being a haven for my heart right now.
And to you,  Tom and Beth,  for feeling like home in a faraway place.

Thank you,  Mom and Dad,  for growing in love still and always,
and for pulling for my kids as if they were your own.

Thank you,  New Leaf Garden Market,  for affirming the work of my hands
and giving me a place to learn and contribute and dream.
Thanks for letting me be on your team and also be my ragamuffin self.
This is gold to me.

Thank you,  Bambi and people who do medical massage
and all of the other healers who use their hands to put things right.
Doing a year without your skills has grown my appreciation
and I don’t want to live in a world without your art form.

Thank you,  Hope,  for inspiring me to remember my buried stories and sagging poetry
while I work with dirty hands and dig up parts of myself that I’d forgotten how to miss.
I love the beautiful way you that are.

Thank you,  January,  for beginnings and my birthday.
For stirring me to celebrate my wishes and let them be.
The ones that make sense and the ones that don’t,  the long shots,  the ridiculous.
For reminding me to let my heart go off-leash and brave about them all.

Thank you, failures and flaws, for learning me not to care so hard what other people think:)
I don’t want to live chained to it’s power to starve me,
but to love for the rest of my days like a wild thing free.

Thank you,  cherry Noble cider,  for warming my belly
with your not-too-sweet bubbles.

Thank you,  people who give their animals good lives,
for living out a heroic kindness.
You make the world better.

Thank you,  Patsy and Jim,  for sharing your beautiful cottage by the sea.
For the gift of your sweet spirits and Topsail time – oh we are rich:)

Thank you, truth-tellers,  for reminding me that despair is delusional.

Thank you,  Audible,  for helping me listen to good books while I go along the highways
and back roads.   For letting me drive and have my books,  too.

Thank you,  good listeners.  for letting the hard things be hard
and the confusing things confusing.  For making it safe to say.

Thank you,  resentment,  for being such heavy poison.
You remind me to forgive as fast as I feel you
and to fight to keep your claws from hooking me long.

Thank you,  Theracane,  for working out my torqued places while I watch TV.

Thank you,  menfolk who refuse to objectify women.
You are healers and heros.   Strength and honor.

Thank you,  pain, for being a good professor.
Sorry for treating you often like a hot potato instead.
And for sometimes skipping class.

Thank you,  Youtube,  for being this freakish crazy magic.
I dreamed of you as a child – this place where anyone
could sing or say or show with the click of a button.
You’re a hot mess because we’re so human, but,  wow –
well done being the thing that you are.

Thank you,  my amazing grown kids,  for reminding me to offer my words easy
and just let them be.
For teaching me to say instead of sell.
You’re some of my best teachers and I love and appreciate you so.

Thank you,  takers of personal responsibility.
You who refuse to live from a victim narrative, even when you’ve been truly victimized.
You teach us what mercy looks like and are our strength as a people.
Thank you for showing the way to the future.

Thank you,  Marie Kondo,  for teaching me how to fold my t-shirts and keep my home
a joyful space.

Thank you,  current political environment,  for shaking and sifting us so.
For shining a broad beam on our hearts so that we can see our narrow places
and hone in on what and how we want to be instead.
For making us confront the uncomfortable
and build civility during unrest.
Our finest hour is coming.

Thank you Way-Maker
for always being exactly who you are.
Your love is my life-long discovery
and your tender faithfulness slays me in such a healing way.

Thank you,  awkward interludes,  for helping me sometimes to surrender
to the silence.

Thank you,  all of the waves that I’ve known,  for bobbing and crashing
and tumbling and rolling and surging and sweeping me off of my feet
until I find myself a child again inside your churning wonder.

Thank you,  Adam Fadel,  for teaching us that conflicts are not about content,
and helping us to heal our marriage and find the most honest, loving way.

Thank you,  Anderson,  for your kindness,
and for helping me find my footing at New Leaf.

Thank you,  scary circumstances,  for inspiring me to risk
deep into the wild of God.

Thank you,  Bee,  basset of Brevard,
for being a soulful squirmy slinky-dog of a hound
who makes me laugh hard from my belly every single day:)
You light up my life.  And remind me to close my closet doors.

Thank you,  kale,  for being awesome mixed with sweet oranges
and also tossed with olive oil and salt to make warm wintery chips.
For being beyond amazing sprinkled with goat cheese.
And thank you,  Spinning Spider,  for making your goats so happy.

Thank you,  local farmers,  for being fierce
in spite of punishing weather.  For soldiering on undaunted
while growing some of the most gorgeous flowers and veg I ever dreamed to know.

Thank you,  Pisgah Forest,  for being playground and prayer closet to me.
For being the place where I run to
and for winding me swiftly up high to the parkway where i can walk in the sky.
And for changing your clothes so dramatic each day.

Thank you,  Blue Ridge parkway,  for being the sea that I need.
For your billowing waves of moody blues and greens and grays
and endless sky sweeping vast in every flicker and twinkle and shade.
And for inviting always the wind.

Thank you,  mountain night stars,  for coming closer than any I’ve known before.
I can almost hear your starshine.

Thank you,  words,  for being a little elusive this year.
You’re still my favorite art supply but you seem more expensive now
-like I have to woo you harder, pay better attention.
And this is gift;  I may have started to take you for granted;
our relationship is healthier for this rift.

Thank you,  lonely times in a new place.
You helped me become a better friend to myself.

Thank you,  charming small town with sidewalks lit up like Stars Hollow.
You draw me out after dark to walk and feel safe while you twinkle all around.

Thank you,  black bear with the quizzical eyes,  for visiting our garage and being so loud with the garbage,
and for the long stare we shared before you lumbered away..   You and the mama bear with three cubs in tow
– you’ve all heightened my imagination in the sharpest of ways.
I think of you often after dark,  when leaves rustle and twigs crack.
You are always on my mind.

Thank you,  Candace,  for gifting me with words that make my heart sit up and hope clear.
For encouraging me with chicken salad and kindness.
For having my back.

Thank you,  those who nudged open my little etsy store again;
you made my flickering lamp sit up and smile all Summer long.

Thank you,  micron pens,  for making my hands happy to write things down.
And sturdy coarse paper – I love you forever.

Thank you, indoor lemon trees,  for being a thing.
I seriously love you.

Thank you,  Epsom salts,  for turning my plastic portable blue bathtub
into a spa soak almost every night.
With the help of some gratitude and my tired bones.

Thank you,  life,  for letting me feel sometimes the sting of want and need.
Things taste much better with a primed appetite.

Thank you,  new mattress,  for lifting all of my parts at the same time.
Miraculous how you support me.

Thank you,  blank note cards,  for giving me a quiet generous place to pour out my thoughts
and say the things.  I don’t want to leave this earth with any of my love left un-given.

Thank you,   music,  for holding it all so good.
For being the fireside where our stories go to be shared
and in such a vivid, moving language.

Thank you,   broken down and falling apart things,
for reminding me that this one life isn’t a dress rehearsal.
That this thing I’m living is real and that there’s help and plenty
but it won’t be forced on me;  that I get to choose to ask and knock.
Your perspective is helpful.

Thank you,  vehicles rigged with kayaks,  canoes and mountain bikes.
Your muddy tires and carefree ways remind me that traffic can also be a road to adventure.
Thanks for being brave – you stir me to play more

Thank you,  religious politics,
for helping me fall in love all over again with grace.
Your harsh self-righteous way makes me all the more giddy over grace.

Thank you,  Charlotte clients,  for letting me go far into the mountains to make my home
and do the drive down on early mornings to still show up and be your gardener.
For paying me still to do what I love and trusting me with places
we’ve cultivated together over the years.
This has been gift and I’ve loved every sunrise and sunset along the way
You’ve helped make some dreams real
and I’ll always remember this.

Finally,  thank you Bryan.
For being for me.
For fighting through hard places alongside of me.
And for mostly loving me – even when the one I’m fighting is you.
We’re a good team and getting better
and you can still make my heart do a shivery flutter:)
Always and forever I love you.

And you…..you who come around and read the words that I write down.
Mountains of thanks – you encourage the wind and fire of me.
(and my next post will be shorter – i promise:))

“Let’s go in search of hidden gems close to home.
Let’s sleep under skies and wake with campfire smoke lingering in our eyes.
Let’s grab the keys and feel the road spill out in front of us,
disappearing into the rear view mirror all we have endured.
Such magic is waiting.  Such splendor.
Find it with me now.  Now.”
– Tyler Knott Gregson

Comments

  1. I have been around the block a few times more than you, and my anniversary rapidly approaches.
    Huge thanks for you. In all your bruised, bent BEAUTIFUL complexity.
    And hugs to go with the thanks.

    • I like walking behind you and seeing you up ahead:) Thanks for calling back to me such wonderful things:)
      “bruised, bent beautiful complexity” Gosh you get humans:) I so appreciate you for that.
      Warmest hugs,
      Jennifer

  2. Beautiful shots – and so much to be grateful for! I appreciate life more and more the older I get.

  3. The next post doesn’t have to be shorter. I read every word and I loved each and every thought, all of which inspired me to think of my thank you list with the broad open heart that you share here.

    I wish you a glorious year of discovery, joy, happiness, lessons learned, new roads taken, healing hearts, rich dirt, fragrant blooms, quiet walks, and words, words, words! Happy Birthday.

    • I appreciate your warm encouragement and sat with your wishes for a long while just now:)
      Yes, yes. Yes to it all. Thank you for such a rich blessing:)
      Big hugs,
      Jennifer

  4. Happy Birthday Jennifer…I love how your thankfulness spills out so poetical on the page and you share it with us. I do have bouts of thankfulness now and then but my words are usually written in a journal and closed between the covers, for God’s eyes only…
    I hope that your new year will be filled with dancing like no one is watching, for you.
    Hugs, Julia

    • Your gratitude sings it’s own sweet song whether you share it or not. And I know His eyes twinkle and smile:)
      Thanks for that wonderful wish – to dance like no one is watching me:) I really like that.
      Much joy and warm hugs,
      Jennifer

  5. Thank YOU for the depth of gratitude you so beautifully share and inspire within me. I thought of you when I woke up, my January friend. Happy birthday Jennifer! Love to you ❤️ Kath

    • Happiest of birthdays to you, too, Kathryn; I imagine you’re seeing snow:)
      I’m glad for dry feet on ground today – it felt good to get out and hike around.
      Wishing you mountains of goodness this next jaunt around the sun – for you and your
      lovies as well. Warm hugs infused with all the hope I can muster:)
      -Jennifer

  6. I’ve taken several days to read this because I’ve wanted to let each “thank you” sink in. I’m speechless. This is amazing Jennifer. I hope to one day own a book of your writings…please please. Your words are something to savor…and they need to be handed down generation after generation. Thanks for being so genuine and real in a world that often isn’t. Much love…

    • Robin:) So much thanks for the words you write down:) They find their way to me in such a
      piercingly encouraging way. I’m smitten and humbled and brought to a deep yes and thank you and oh please help:)
      Serious thanks for the prod,
      Jennifer

  7. I never know how you do this, put words together to become prayers and cause tears to gather and smiles to tug, but I am so grateful each time you do. I also agree with our friend, Robin, a book … please please. I thank the universe for both of you being in my life and for all that you have in yours.

    • A book, please – I join the two of you in yes to that:)
      There will be a way and I will jump in and take it! I am watching and listening
      with my ear to the ground:)
      Thanks, friend, for the always encouraging gift of your presence and words,
      Jennifer

  8. You do have a way with words, my friend. Lovely list of grateful!

    • Thanks, Mary:) I was up your way yesterday and had to turn around! Snowstorm and almost whiteout!
      And back in Brevard it was sunny and blue skies. Go figure:)
      I appreciate and lunch soon!
      – Jennifer

  9. love this list..and you Happy Birthday!!

    • thanks, Elaine, it was a beauty:) And I love the getting older part, too:)
      I remember when I was young I wanted so to be older than I was. Everyone told me
      I’d rue the day:) So far so much better each and every year. The lines and sags
      and aches are not as off-putting as I’d been warned:) I may change my tune but this
      birthday thing seems like a good deal so far:)
      Thanks and xoxo,
      Jennifer

  10. Lucille Christie says

    Oh happy birthday dear one ⭐️And so many more words to share and uplift spirits im such a profound
    Way! You reach down in my soul like no
    Other and always feel richer when I leave your page , I’m enjoying your pottery so and as I pass them be I smile and remember that appointed day !
    Your colors are my colors where time
    Melts away . Oh Jennifer , keep on keeping
    On for those of us who spring to life once again through your words . Until we meet again
    Stretch out your birthday 🎁 day by day until the next time .
    Much love ❤️ your way always
    Lucille

    • I’m so glad the pot with all the purples found you safe and whole:) And to such a good home:)
      Gosh your words are a firehose of encouragement -much thanks to you and the all of your big heart!
      I appreciate the cheers and love the way you do:)
      Much thanks, Lucille,
      Jennifer

  11. Joan creasy says

    Beautiful , simply beautiful thankful heart from beautiful you, our Jennifer. So very thankful for YOU!

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