Up for Air



Lani Woodruff


 The past several months whirled past me like racers out of the starting blocks.  Only in

this case, the starting gun that went off sounded of my cell phone ringing.  Spring arrived

and with it, miles of work for me.  This morning presents the first time this season I find

myself sitting at my computer to type my thoughts on screen that doesn’t involve

Vecktorworks, plant lists, design notes or client profiles.  And it feels good to breathe!  So

much so that words evade me.  But one word keeps playing in my thoughts….gratitude.

 Sarah Ban Breathnach introduced me to the concept of engaging in gratitude when I read

her book, “Simple Abundance” back in the 90’s.  In it, she invited her readers to write a

gratitude journal recording entries on a daily basis.  It was not an exercise that flowed

easily for me at first.  I’d write really general, cliché entries like; I’m grateful for my health. 

I’m grateful for my family.  I’m grateful for my job.  But soon I found myself ‘writing’

entries in my head as I went through my day.  If I remember right, recording a list of five

things was the request.  But after practicing the exercise I found myself filling page after

page with grateful thoughts.  And the entries became simpler and simpler too; I’m grateful

for chocolate chip cookies!  I’m grateful for the cosmos I saw today –they make me smile! 

I’m grateful for Garth’s kiss this morning.  It illustrated the other truth I took away from

that read, ‘All you have is all you need.’  


At the beginning of this growing season I stood poised, ready to design away, but I viewed

myself alone.  Alone, in the sense that no longer was there a build component to my firm.  

RootBound, a landscape design studio.    No in house install team.  No dump trucks.  No

skid loaders.  Just me, my MacBookPro, Vecktorworks and awesome business cards.  It

was not business as usual to me.  Was all I had, all I needed?  

 After the pleasure of designing some 60 designs since April, I believe the answer resounds

yes.  And this is why gratitude plays in my thoughts as I sit and breathe these few

moments.  This is just my short list:  I’m grateful to continue my art of landscape design

here in St. Joseph, Michigan.  I’m grateful for my husband’s support.  I’m grateful for the

build firms who are my new install teams.  I’m grateful for the referrals sent to me by local

suppliers.  I’m grateful for referrals sent to me from my college professor.  I’m grateful for

the chance to help my clients.  I’m grateful for these moments to type, my thoughts on