Lanette Smith is obsessed with hearts. She finds them in clouds, leaves, soap bubbles, and puddles -- anywhere, really. And this makes complete sense to me because Lanette is all heart. She has a heart of gold. In fact any heart saying you can think of would most likely fit Lanette.
I’ve known Lanette for almost the whole time we’ve lived here -- she lives just down the street from us. And it turns out, most people in town know her too. It was kindof a joke for a while that every new person we met, also knew Lanette. The sweet gal at the bakery? One of Lanette’s best friends. Our tax lady? Good friends with Lanette. My new lavender farming friend? Went to school with Lanette. And on and on. This makes perfect sense though. Lanette walks into a room with love oozing from her being, a giant smile on her face, and then proceeds to make everyone in the room feel like they are the most wonderful person she has ever met, as she listens intently and offers, ever so meekly, her profound wisdom. How could you not want to be friends with someone like that? How could you not love someone like that? How lucky am I to be her neighbor.
"Lanette is also a talented artist. For a while, she would just randomly deliver beautiful sketches or paintings, usually of lavender or of hearts, to my doorstep. I have several of her works displayed throughout my house and they make me smile every time I see them. One of my favorite pieces is a colored pencil map of Newberg and Dundee with her favorite places penciled in, and right up there on the top left she penciled in Little Lavender Farm. So of course, when I decided that I wanted to offer notecards that depicted our shop, Lanette was the first person I thought of. I asked her if she could create a little painting or sketch of the outside of our shop. And what she created is beyond anything I could have hoped for...because well, it’s Lanette and Lanette does things with her whole heart. I loved it so much that I asked if she could create some sketches of the inside. And as you can see, they are beautiful. So pretty soon we will have cute little notecards of our shop created by my friend Lanette.
And now, Lanette is also a published author! She has just released a photo collection of heart images that she and a few friends have stumbled upon and shared with each other throughout the years. She titled the collection Love Finding Us -- and it is lovely and uplifting and inspiring. Because it makes you look at the world a little differently; it makes you start looking for those hearts hidden around you that you never noticed before. It makes you realize that the universe is always sending us messages of love, if only we would see them. And that in receiving that love, we must also share it. If I might be so bold as to paraphrase the great poet Amanda Gorman:
"For there is always love,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it."
Happy Valentines Day Friends. YOU are loved.