Out of the dead brown branches the bloom of hope and growth erupt with an unstoppable force. I have felt this Lightening of Spirit lately as our world tentatively emerges from the horrible pandemic that set upon us just over a year ago. We all have suffered the anxiety and fear and collective mourning of the losses that Covid19 has brought. I hope that others of you, especially those who have lost loved ones, can begin to feel this Lightening of Spirit as well.
I'd like to say that over the last year I was able to make monumental changes to my life or make an impact in my community, but in reality most days were just a slog to get through to the next one, to mentally and physically survive. I ate too much, drank too much, watched too much Netflix, and fell down the rabbit hole of despair too much. Granted, I did work towards seeing a change in our country's leadership, civic action however small leads to larger progress. I also walked almost daily along my local road with my dog picking up trash, cleaning up my neighborhood and soaking in nature. This probably kept me, mostly, sane.
Professionally, I learned a few new tricks in establishing a shopping cart website and broadening my reach a bit on social media. I was able to invest in marketing my business with an Artist Support Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council to whom I'm very grateful. My online sales in January were surprisingly robust and I SO appreciate all the folks that made those orders! I may only have done 3 small local outdoor shows that were carefully managed with safety guidelines, but those kept me going emotionally and financially too. Working in my studio gave me purpose and a creative outlet for which I'm thankful, and allowed me to really stock-up for the next show, LOL.
Looking ahead, I have 4 shows definitely planned for the spring and summer and early fall season, with hopes of adding several more. I'll be getting my first vaccination this week, so that helps me feel more secure to get out and about in the coming months. The biggest and most joyful event in progress is my daughter's wedding! Her plans changed drastically from a small family trip in Italy last May to her and fiance' deciding on an intimate legal marriage between the two of them and postponing a celebration. Now that time is coming for a joyful stateside shindig in October, including all manner of friends and family. We have come to realize that being together right now is simply more precious than elaborate overseas adventures. Those experiences will come later.
Stay hopeful and persevere my friends, find joy where you can and share the love!