Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gratitude for Time in the Low Country

This bridge sculpture was in Forsyth Park the Saturday of the Girl Scout's 100th birthday celebration.
I love the quote by the Girl Scout's founder, Juliet Gordon Low, "The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers." So true!

I had the incredible fortune to go back to the Gibbes Museum of Art yesterday to look at the Malbone portrait miniatures one more time. Fun!!!! I found it incredibly satisfying to see them again after so much more research, looking and studying. I felt like I had a greater grasp on my topic and what I wanted to share in my thesis. I found my voice!!! I also felt completely accepted and supported by the curators I was working with. They treated me as an equal! I have to say that between looking through the files, seeing the correspondence of authors I've read and holding the miniatures in my hands, I felt like the most blessed person in the world. Add in the respect and kindness from those running the museum and I felt like a rock star. One of the curators even took a miniature that was loose in its casings apart for me so that I could look at the inner workings. They let me photograph it too. This will be so valuable!

Mostly, I'm just so grateful for the opportunity to come to the Low Country to study. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The people I've met in Savannah and Charleston have all been so giving. My land lady, Carol, not only restored and placed a desk in my room towards the beginning of my visit, but she also left treats for me on the back porch weekly. I swear that I exercised almost everyday, but there is no way that anyone will be able to tell when I get home because Carol would place half of a loaf of fresh bread or banana pudding from our favorite bakery on my back porch every other day. She would go for herself and bring some home to share. She and I also had many talks about our intentions for life, new ways to better support our friends and how grateful we were for our abundant blessings.

She's an artist and moved to Savannah about a year ago because she loves it as much as I do. We're kindred spirits. We both want to use our lives to serve people, we love the arts and we both feel like there's just something magical about Savannah. She even offered to let me come back and stay for free. Who could be so lucky? Mostly, I feel like I've found a lifelong friend in her and I count that as a great blessing. She is so positive, encouraging, kind, generous, loving and helped me through a period of great stress. I know that she was an answer to prayer for me. Today, before I left, she took me to another artist's house and had me look through a lot of his work and pick a piece that I liked. She told me that it was her hope that it would remind me of her. As if I needed a reminder. :) It's a gorgeous oil pastel, Savannah street scene. I can't wait to frame it and hang it in my house. There are people I've known for years that I don't feel as close to as Carol. We just clicked from the moment we met.

Why did I ever worry about being there all alone? Even when I was by myself, which was most of the time, I was happy and at peace. The only tears that I shed were ones for my friend, Allen, and his family. And then there were those that were a result of the overwhelming sense that life couldn't get any better.

I found all that I needed and more in Savannah. I found it here in Charleston too. When I say that, I mean that I not only gained all of the information I needed for my thesis, but I also found confidence and peace. I've finally reached a point where the words are spilling out of me and into my computer. It's all I can think about. I'm constantly writing in my head, when I'm not near my computer, because I can't help myself. So whatever happens tomorrow or in my thesis defense, I know that I can sleep well tonight because everything I'm doing is coming from a wellspring of creativity rooted in months of study, excitement over discovery and work! This is the very best place to be for writing!

I was sad to leave Savannah this morning, but as I crossed the Talmadge Bridge, I found myself grateful to be going to Charleston. It helped to know that I could return in August. That's so soon!!! Wooohooo!  I have to admit that I've already starting thinking about what I want to research for fun when I get back there. I can't wait for that, but I'm also excited about getting home. It will be great to see my friends and family. It's great to be happy wherever you are.

Life is so good!

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