Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Gratitude Project

I’ve been thinking for a while what I wanted to do this year to revive a photography project for me.  I find if I don’t have something I’m working on, I don’t consiously try and improve my photography.  Then an idea came to me.   A few years ago someone I respect and admire came to me one day and asked if he could take my picture.  He was working on a project where he would take a picture everyday of someone he was grateful for.  In my case it was out of our influence in his son’s life.  I was so touched by that!  To imagine that I was someone that inspired gratitude.  As I’ve been thinking about that moment I thought that it would be pretty cool to combine my love of photography, and my desire to get better at it, with a project something like what he was doing.

So, here is The Gratitude Project.  

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  

Once a week on Sunday’s I’ll bring you a photo, or a few photos that represent something or someone I’m grateful for, and then tell you why.  I want it to be something encouraging and maybe stretching too.

Here’s this week’s photos.

This week I’m thankful for Winter.  In my part of western Canada we get 4 distinct seasons and we definitely get Winter.  This year with El Niño it’s been a lot more mild than in other years.  Some years in January we’re dealing with -30’s Celcius (-22 F or lower).  If you know me I don’t like to be cold.  At ALL.  We complain a lot about the cold, the length of the season, how much we wish it would warm up, how long our winters are.  And yet, the cold and the snow and the season brings with it such beauty, and honestly a lot of perspective.  I want to be more grateful for what’s in front of me.  

This week we had several days with softly falling snow.  All day long, snow was slowly drifting down.  It left lovely little clusters of snowflakes in the crevices of the hedge and looked beautiful.  If you look carefully enough, you can see some of the individual shapes of each unique snowflake.  That speaks to me about each person’s uniqueness and design too.  And, the purity of the white snow always strikes me from a spiritually symbolic perspective too.  Snow brings cleansing, snow brings stillness and silence.  I’m grateful for the snow.  

On Saturday morning the temperature dropped quite a bit, to the -20’s and because it had been moist and humid the last few days, that meant we had hoarfrost on the trees.  That is a spectacular sight.  All the trees are frozen with a white coating.  When the sun comes out it is an amazing contrast.  This part of my world is pretty special.  

I was thinking yesterday that maybe some of you might like to join me on this project.  You might like to take a picture (or pictures) of what you’re grateful for each week.  It means we have 50 weeks ahead of us.  I really think it will be a great encouragement to capture these people and things.  A significant and special focus for the year!  

There’s no real rules, you don’t have to be a great photographer (though I hope to improve over the year), it’s just pictures and the reason why you’re grateful each week. It can be one picture or more.  And it’s a great discipline to do it each week.  Maybe you want to do it 2x per month or something like that.  Regardless....  I’ll be posting on Sunday’s because I usually don’t have stamping posts on those days.  If you’d like to join me, just leave me a comment here on the blog, and I’ll stop by and visit!


Ddmac58 said...

That is such a cool idea, no pun intended! ;-) Beautiful job on the pictures. I wish I were better with my camera so perhaps I will be inspired to bravely get out and take some pictures this year of things I am grateful for. Thanks for sharing.

Conniecrafter said...

Such a great idea, my husband has really gotten into photography this year, I will have to tell him about this, he has been sharing his on facebook and maybe this is something he would like to do also. As much as I don't like the cold and shoveling anymore, I do appreciate the beauty that snow is and what a blessing from God it is, great way to start off the year!

Maria A. said...

Hello Christine: I think this is a fantastic idea, it will be great to share some pictures of the many things we are grateful for.
I have some pictures to share with you so I will go and see which ones to post.
I will let you know here.
Thank you for sharing yours.

Marisa said...

What a fabulous idea!! Love it :) Much along Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts! Look forward to seeing your pictures!

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Christine, I love your gratitude project and think it's such a perfect Sunday post too. I love the definition, which is a wonderful reminder of what it means to be grateful/thankful. I too dislike cold (very much!!!), but I love how you saw in this "cold" photo the uniqueness of each snowflake, just as we are uniquely designed by God. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, and I have to think about this idea myself. I so love to take photos but have not taken as many this past couple of years. Thanks for a beautiful and thoughtful post, sweet friend! Warm hugs from South Florida!