By Gail Howarth
My name is Gail Howarth. I am a photographer and storyteller. I recently started a project that I hope will tell the story of gratitude. It is called the Gratitude Project By Lakehouse Photo. Though this undertaking is all about gratitude, it was born from a tough time in my life.
Several years ago, I experienced a period of loss, grief, and depression. The days, too many to count, were painful and felt endless. Then one day, a switch flipped. The darkness that I had grown to expect did not come. Instead, the bright sun shone across my face, and I felt held, warm, and loved. As I emerged from my slumber, I realized that I had changed. I felt free and unafraid, led by something larger than me, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all things.
I began to wonder about gratitude all the time. What is it? Can everyone feel it? For what are people grateful? And, lastly, what does it look like? The last question led me to ask friends to think about their gratitude while I photographed them. The project took flight when several friends accepted my request.
Since its inception, The Gratitude Project has changed significantly. Initially, I just wanted to capture images of gratitude and share them with others on my Facebook page. I expected the photos to be community-building and raw. And, that is true for most folks. However, I have learned that the face of gratitude is different for everyone.
Today, my vision for The Gratitude Project is very different. At the very least, I hope the project will encourage better living through gratitude. The loftier goal is that it be used as a community-building opportunity throughout the United States and perhaps even beyond. We live in a time when our differences so easily divide us. Why not, instead, find what we have in common and begin to build relationships that create unity.
I am currently seeking individuals, and groups of people that are bound by a common interest, to photograph and to share their experience of gratitude. Groups could be but are not limited to a book club, a church choir, a group of farmers that meet for coffee, or folks that work together for a service organization. Please contact me at Gail@Lakehousecc.com if you have questions or would like to participate.
More information about The Gratitude Project is located at https://lakehousecc.com. Additionally, consider following me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/gratitude_by_lakehouse_photo/
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