The Art of Mirriam Neal

become

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the proper ingredients for a rare Georgia snow day

 

Victoria Erickson said, “If you want gardens, become the gardener.” I was washing the dinner dishes on the second of January when this phrase floated back into my head. I’d been trying to come up with my word for the year, to no avail. My word for 2016 was ‘better,’ because better is something I could always be. ‘Better’ was an anchor for me, and I held to it as hard as I could. It would be hard, I thought, to come up with another word that would help me as much in 2017.

But as the phrase ‘If you want gardens, become the gardener’ came to me, I realized I had my word. ‘Become.’ This is the world I will ink on my wrist so I never forget it, so it stays fresh in my mind for the next year. This year, I will be what I want. Not in a selfish ‘I do what I want, Thor,’ way, but in a way that fills in the gaps. I will work to be extra, to give extra. To provide grace where grace is lacking, to provide love when love is wearing thin.

This year, I strive to become the gardener.

“If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener. If you want love, embody love. If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation. If you want peace, exude calmness. If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint. If you want to be valued, respect your own time. If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself. This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch.” — Victoria Erickson

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