Friday, December 31, 2010

Gratitude in Gran's Garden

I'm staying with my sister, Tessa, in Texas for a while. After my mom passed away in 2003, Tessa began creating an outdoor space she's called Gran's Garden (my niece and nephew called my mom Gran). It's beautifully and magically overgrown with bushes and trees; stone cherubs peek out from beneath the groundcover; a rusty metal archway teems with vines; a flagstone area beckons visitors to sit and meditate.

It's one of the most peaceful and spiritual places I've ever been. I love that I can end the year in such a place. I was standing in the garden yesterday, eyes closed. Dozens of birds were flitting about from limb to limb. All I could hear was the fluttering of their wings.

And I said "Thank you" aloud. To whom? I don't know. Spirit. The Universe. Mom. Doesn't matter. The moment was about gratitute. Not longing, not expectation.

2010 has been an amazing year. Did I get an agent or sell my book? Nope. Doesn't matter.
  • I finished my first novel. I revised it and revised it again. It's being read by agents. I have to trust the process is out of my control now.

  • I found a critique partner via a former work colleague. She's 2000 miles away but I feel her support as if she's in the room with me, sharing a cup of coffee. Her insights help me to be a better writer.

  • I wasn't accepted into the Hedgebrook writers-in-residence program, but out of 800-plus applications, I made it to the 80 finalists. That's a compliment I don't want to lose by being upset with the final outcome.

  • I have an amazing spouse, amazing family and amazing friends.

  • I have shelter, food, health, financial security when there is such poverty and want in the world.
My sister tells me I don't need a physical space to feel this way...that I can carry Gran's Garden in my heart. How true.
Do you have a space you go to for reflection?


  1. Beautiful! We do have so much to be grateful for. I had a big year - got my MFA, moved back to Taos from New York, bought Sadie the Scamp, and launched a new blog. All accomplishments I'm proud of, but I'm looking forward to just focusing on travel and writing this year.

    So glad we're friends, Mandy. You're a superstar, and I wish you only the best in 2011.

  2. Hi Mandy, thanks for writing this blog... I can just imagine the lovely space that you described in my mind, it reminds me of my gramma's gardens in her back yard. They were filled with roses of every color, and then there was the big apricot tree, with ivy threaded everywhere in between. It was a magical place.

    Today I have a special space that inspires me -it's not any one in particular, but it is always out in nature. The desert at sunrise, a beautiful mountain summit, being next to or on the river - all of them inspire such a feeling of gratitude for creation, and therefore compel me to create.

    Keep writing and creating, Mandy - the fruits of your inspiration are true gems that help to inspire others, regardless of any agent! Thank you for that.

  3. Your my rock star author!

  4. A beautiful post. 2011 is going to be YOUR year! I can feel it! :-)