Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…


Coffee on the table.

It has been a month since we had our coffee. We’ve had lots of coffee — lattes, iced and hot, dark roasts with cream, coffees from drip makers, espresso machines, pods — lots of coffee, but not ours. This morning I brewed the coffee in our Italian pot. It is simple. Strong. Fills the kitchen with the scent of morning. Fills our spirit with the taste of home. 

I painted this coffee pot years ago because it was a symbol to me of “falling in love with your own life.” It is still just that. And to start each day with that reminder is priceless, familiar, comforting — I guess that’s home.

But it takes an effort though. You have to search. Try different things. Take different paths. Stumble. Fall. Get up again, all in order to find this place. And then maintain it. I suppose the best way is just through gratitude. So I give thanks for this morning pot of coffee. I give thanks for this love. This life. This home. 

There’s coffee on the table, and kindness in the air. We begin. Good morning!


Lavender honey

It’s getting harder and harder to know who we can like anymore. “Sure he was a good painter, but a bit of a misogynist.” “He could really write, but he killed so many animals.” “Oh, sure, she can sing, but who did she vote for?” “Oh, I loved that movie, but I can’t watch it anymore, that actor… is that even a religion?”

It’s so much to think about. Can we separate? Do we have to? Is it censorship? Oh, my poor head. Sometimes, I just want to enjoy something. For what it is. So this morning, I opened the jar of lavender honey – made by hard working bees, in a sea of lavender, in an unchanging part of Provence. I spread it generously over my homemade bread. Let it sink into the crevices. Took a deep breath of the lavender, closed my eyes, and slowly took a bite. I let it rest on my tongue and carry me to the waving purple fields. Delicious. Pure. Joy. If I could eat an almost perfect poem, written by an almost perfect author, it would be lavender honey. Good morning, assurance.

I guess, for me it’s more than enough. I wake up with the one I love… and lavender honey too.

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I’m enjoying this practice of sharing a story each morning. It has become part of my routine. I had thought of doing it for a long time, but I was a little afraid of the process. How would I come up with a new idea each day? There are challenges, for sure (it’s not coal mining hard, but it does take some effort.) The key for me has been this, the art of noticing. It sounds simple enough, and it actually is, but you do have to practice it. And once in the practice, you will (forgive me) “notice” how easy it is to notice things.

But it can’t stop there – noticing is the key to gratitude.

This morning I was awakened by the sweetest sound – birds singing. And oh, how they say. So joyful. I woke up smiling. Thank you birds. Thank you morning. Thank you “not waking up to an alarm clock.”

Gratitude alone, though, can become complacent without action. So I painted the birds that sang to me this morning. I put the bird paintings on my computer so I can share them with you. And with a piece of luck, this yellow will make you smile. This smile will brighten your face, which will brighten the face of the person next to you. And we start a chain. A chain of gratitude.

Some of you will share the story that this brought to your mind. This yellow, this bird, this awakening. And your story will make me think, hey, did you notice the… and we’re off again! Thank you for that. Thank you for this chain.

We are only as strong as our connections.

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