"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~ John F. Kennedy
Every country has its favorite rituals and Thanksgiving is certainly a major one for the US. With very faint homage to it’s original purpose as a cause for Pilgrim immigrants to give thanks for their survival in an unfamiliar landscape for their first year completely isolated from everything familiar, now it’s a major holiday focussed on food (lots of it), travel (literally millions of people on the move, despite the vagaries of the weather), the overwhelming bargain shopping hype that leaves me unmoved and the unofficial launch of the holiday season.
In New England, holiday decorating is truly an art form that creates an inviting atmosphere. As a relative newcomer I am still in awe by the efforts many people devote to their decor. In the past 2 weeks I have been busy in Hartford photographing a major fundraiser event “Set 2 Celebrate” for the Connecticut Valley Garden Club at the exquisite mansion now operating as the Town & Country Club and hanging garlands from a cherry picker in the esteemed Wadsworth Atheneum as part of the set up for the annual “Festival of Trees” feeling like I should be singing the famed balcony solo “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” from my elevated perch. It’s all a little surreal for a girl from a small country town on the other side of the world to be in the midst of the premier social activities in this very traditional part of New England.
So now I am in another country on this Thanksgiving eve, appreciating my family and friends who have helped create so many superb experiences this year. What are you thankful for? I value our precious time together as we all evolve and pursue our passions, finding our own path in the world as new opportunities emerge in a changing world. We all have opinions, foibles, fears and dreams yet we support each other as we continue to learn life lessons. After nearly 5 months of health issues impacting our immediate family I am definitely thankful for excellent medical care and restored health. As I spend more time with veterans and members of the military I am thankful for our freedoms in a democratic society. As I work with more service organizations and people committed to improving the world, I am humbled by people’s generosity of spirit.
As I am asked to create new images for organizations and clients I admire, I reflect on how fortunate I am to have this interesting and varied life. My work is appearing in more publications, people are praising my images and I am succeeding in competitions as I venture forth with more confidence. It has been a roller coaster of emotion to resume a career after a long hiatus but now it’s time to flourish. As the ripples widen and I meet truly amazing people in my travels, the richness of these experiences is beyond energizing. New projects are on the cusp of commission as I write so this truly is a year to be thankful. I wish you the confidence to pursue your dreams too. Bon chance mes amis.