Tag Archives: gratitude

Bench Marks

Continuing the story of the ‘Bench of Gratitude’ Installation at West Dean College.

As I sat on the bench and looked out across the park, the focus of my gaze became the clump of trees in the middle distance.Dan, our tutor, would come round and chat with each of us about what we were creating. He asked if I was thinking of creating something under those trees to link to two places. Hmm … I wandered up there to have a look.

Near to the trees and just behind them is an installation by Andy Goldsworthy ( whom I have found inspiring for a very long time). It is a chalk boulder, surrounded by small chalk stones. You can just see a white dot under the branches of the clump.

This is a photo of the Chalk Boulder I took in December 2021 when I went on a Helen Turner, Wabi Sabi art course.

I picked up a small chalk stone and went back under the clump of trees to look back towards the bench and ponder the next step.

As I stood there it became clear to me that a) I did not want to create something under these trees and b) I could invite others to add to what I was doing at the bench if they would like to.

I do love creative collaboration.

When I got back to the bench, I still had the piece of chalk in my hand and wrote MEMORY        GRATITUDE       CONNECTION

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A Bench of Gratitude

Working with this bench at West Dean College on a Land Art Course, became a very meaningful process for me. It also led me to make other pieces of Land Art in different locations around the garden.

This is the third post about it, you can see the first here and the second here.

The bench is, under a Lime Tree, in the front of the college and therefore seen by all the garden visitors and college students. Not the sort of place I thought I would have chosen at all – but it chose me.

After weaving in the first bunch of grasses, I walked back to the tulip tree to gather more. I counted my steps as I went. It took 150 steps to get from bench to tree.

As I counted out loud, I was reminded of my Welsh maternal Grandfather.

I did not get to sleep easily as a child and he used to pat me whilst counting out loud, very quietly, to help me get to sleep. I could choose how many pats 100, 150 or 200. We had a very close relationship – I had not remembered the patting for years and years. I felt very close to him as I was walking and a feeling of gratitude that I had him in my life, washed over me.

I picked just what I could hold in one hand, walked back and wove the dry grass through the back of the bench. Back for another handful and this time I placed it as a bunch to the left. This referenced sheafs of corn and also flowers left on benches and other places, in memorium.

My intention was to gather more grass to bulk up the sheaf, but after a walk around the garden, I saw some cut grass and decided to gather this to create some sort of spiral or other path, leading to the bench.

As I raked up the cut grass, I made a meandering path, which became my second piece of Land Art.

I came to like the spin off pieces more than what happened around the bench, but if I had not started with the bench the others would not have been created.

Love Rocks

dsc_0110-1My lovely US friend Rachel, who runs beautiful workshops on Healing the Healer  has introduced me to the Gratitude Circle which is a most wonderful group on Facebook created by Julie Santiago. Three years ago Julie had the ambition of surrounding the Earth with Gratitude.

The idea is to post something that you feel grateful for on each day of 40 days from the 22nd November to 31st of December. You can still join in. You don’t have to have started at the beginning.

On Day 16 of 40 I posted that I am grateful for the Gratitude Circle

It is a group where a huge feeling of love and connection is growing and blossoming and it gives me hope that we humans can pull ourselves back from the path of self-destruct that we seem to be hurtling down.

When I joined back in November, there were 11,000 people in the circle and already there are now over 13,000. There are beautiful stories, simple stories, heart felt stories and posts that make my heart sing.

On Day 15 Michele posted about Love Rocks.

LOVE ROCKS!!!!!!

She posted a picture of a table top covered with little pebbles covered with fabric hearts that she has left in random places for people to find – Love Rocks! it certainly does!!!

Here is what Michele wrote (she has given permission for me to share it with you)

A year and a half ago my sister came to visit from Oregon. Her last night here she said “Darn it! I meant to make and leave Love Rocks every where I went!” I asked her what they were. After she explained I said, don’t worry, I’ll make some and go back to every where you went and leave them. The first person to find one of mine and post made me so happy! I was hooked! I have been making them and leaving them ever since. The ones pictured went to Burning Man with my friends from my Flow Community. I always have some in my back pack so I am always prepared. I mostly leave them anonymously but sometimes when people are just nice to me or if I see someone sad I’ll say here I have something for you! Love Rocks came into my life when some very difficult issues happened in my family. I began to fall into a deep depression. Making and leaving Love Rocks was so soothing to my soul and seeing either in person or via fb how happy they made others in turn made me very happy as well. It has been a very long term sense of gratitude. My Sister lives in the same town as the woman who started it and they go to the same church. The story is sad but the movement is incredible!

I immediately started cutting out some fabric hearts to spread the

❤   LOVE   

You can read the story of how Love Rocks came about here.

And click here for a video of how to make Love Rocks.

I am delighted to honour Abigail and Anna and celebrate their lives and their wonderful Mom, Susan Dieter-Robinson, by making and sharing Love Rocks.

Maybe you will find one, maybe you will make one, maybe you will share one

In answer to the question,  ‘What would love do now?’

!Make Love Rocks!

Let’s surround the world in a great big hug of Gratitude and Love.

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Here is my very own much treasured Love Rock given to me many years ago, hand-painted by a dear friend and her daughter.

It sits on my hearth – the heart of the home.

Love Hugs to all of you.

😀