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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


In Gratitude and Glory

Kelly Clark

Today it looks like this: morning fog, coffee in mugs, quiet drives, open fields, bald eagles, giddy puppies, wet socks and openness.  Blessed openness.  The type you feel in your chest, as though your heart has breathed deeper and wider than it has for days.  When your light shines a little brighter, when your song comes a little faster.  It's the type that feels like healing all the things no one else can see.  I'm greedy for it.  I'm near obsessed with it.  

* * * 


Earlier this week, it looked like this: thick skies, half-hearted rain, flickering candles, echinacea tea, hamming after dusk, harvesting sweetgrass, map-making, ugg boots, and writing out lists.  Inspiration lists that is.   This has become a practice for me.  Not only for the satisfaction of seeing all those cheery little bullet points, nor for the clarification of the thousand flapping thoughts winging through my mind on any day, but for the practice of cultivating gratitude.  I live a beautiful life; I know this much is true.  That is not to say an easy life, there are no charms nor silver spoons, but it is my life and long ago I deemed it beautiful.  When I stop, sit, sip and write out all those inspiring things circling my thoughts, it gives me a concrete list of things to be thankful for.  There is beauty outside, inside, above and below.  If I could, I'd hang little golden stars on every one of them, just to make them shine bright enough for all to see.

This list, which will continue to grow over the next week, is what I love, what I'm grateful for, what is driving my thoughts, my pencils, my saw blades.

  • Moon Phases (waxing contrasted with waning) 
  • Seed Pods (dried, rattling and full of seed) 
  • Wings (especially dragonflies, full of venation) 
  • Natural cellular structures (wasp nests, cambium layers, honeycomb, spider webs) 
  • Autumnal detritus (layers and layers deep) 
  • The open feeling of walking the wild fields around the base of Mt. Si
  • The quality of light when the temperature is cold vs. warm (seasonal change) 
  • Raw gemstones (especially pink tourmaline, turquoise and smokey quartz) 
  • Hawthorn trees (genus Crataegus) 
  • The concept of Wabi Sabi  (imperfection as art, as truth and wholeness)
  • Experiencing and offering Loving Kindness with strangers
  • Totem Animals (always, always), specifically Corvids (crows, stellar's jays, ravens), gray foxes, snakes and horses



I'd love to know what you love.  Care to share in the comments? 

- U