A Gift


December 1, Sunday evening, post lovely, yet long holiday weekend. In the midst of all the connection and cheer, family and food I was struck with a little melancholy. I lost my dad a week before Thanksgiving 12 years ago and UGH, it snuck up on me this year. After dinner clean up, post candle lighting, pre departure to Manhattan, I sat to put my feet up and in the stillness it crept in. Well shit, here we go again…

What to do, what to do. Feed my soul, nourish my spirit, return to me in whatever way I can in this busy time of year. I like to find the magic in everyday, The holidays however, even more so! I'm really just a big kid at heart who wants to wander among and wonder at the twinkle lights, sing along with carols and shake the presents under the tree. 

What to do???

Sign up for Hannah's Holiday Joy Up (always magical)… check.
Hot showers… check.
Focus on detoxing negative all around, nutritionally, media, more… in process.
Now what?

Recognize my gift.

Return to the pencil, Return to the paint.

This gift always offers me a respite. A brief lull in the deluge from the overwhelm.
The pencil and paint always offers me a partner. They know everything about me and never seem to judge.
The page always waits for my mark. A scribble or blotch, a line or a pattern. Ready and willing to come to life with a simple request.
They always bring me back to where I need to be and yet I sometimes forget to receive it.

As a child, a teen, and now as an adult I have been told more than once, "You have a gift". I was always resistant to this idea but now I agree wholeheartedly.


  • 1. a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
  • 2. a natural ability or talent.

My ability and willingness to paint as a process is indeed a gift. It has helped me more than once, a healing simply through prepping my palette, and to put pen to page, to lay a wash, a huge sigh, a deep release.

For the next 25 days I'm committing to drawing or painting each day. An advent of sorts. Inspired this morning on instagram by @tadwagner.( Today's time for creation stolen in a corner while I watched my daughter at rock climbing. Tomorrow, in the studio:)

Let the countdown to Christmas begin. And through this countdown, let there be creation, connection, calm as I return again and again and again to recognizing, accepting, unwrapping and delving in to my gift.

Not sure quite how to mail this thank you note as I finally recognize this all as a gift so I'll just send this out here:

Dear Universe, I am so grateful. Thank You! xo- Cassia