On any given day lately, I can look outside my sliding glass patio doors and see the GRATITUDE mural that was recently painted on the side of a store on my block.
It’s beautiful, full of colorful flowers, pastel panels and adorned with a huge painted “Gratitude” for all to see. It would be striking enough on its own, but I’m the one who has gratitude parties for friends and I’ve even created kits on how to do so, so it resonates even more with me.
So every day I get to look out my windows and see this beautiful sign made by Ruben Rojas and a team of volunteers who signed up to paint this mural outside our home a few weekends ago. Ruben is part of an organization called Beautify Earth; a non-profit initiative that paints positive messages to combat messages of negativity in the world. The Gratitude Mural in my neighborhood is one of their local projects.
In the later evenings and early mornings, if you look to the left of the “G” in gratitude, you’ll see a homeless individual setting up his tent in the shadows. I believe that there is some greater metaphor in his presence under the shade of such a powerful word that I am not able to make sense of…yet. But I do know that when I look out at the end of the day and see him standing by his pup tent on an asphalt parking lot from my nice, clean, safe apartment, I do think of how grateful I am for all the abundant blessings and gifts in my own life. And I think how grateful I am that in the tight housing market of greater Los Angeles, and during the homelessness crisis which has hit Southern California especially hard, God is good and I am both lucky and blessed.
A friend of mine and I used to gripe about things that were not quite right and then we would always end each session with “Well, think about it this way: we worry, we worry, we think we won’t have X or Y, but remember, you had a roof over your head 10 years ago, you have a roof over your head now, and chances are that you’ll have a roof over your head 10 years from now.”
I have to remember today to pull gratitude out of the shadow of the corner of my own mental mural and put it front and center, in big pastels and flowers in my own life. And then move on into the rest of my own day and week, grateful for all that is, for all that has been and hopefully all that will be in the future as well.
My advice to you is to do the same.
Have a grateful day!
For more on the making of this great Gratitude mural from Beautify Earth themselves, watch this video: