Validation

I made a dollar yesterday, just by being myself.

I’ve been wanting to get out and explore, to paint onsite outdoors, to move my body that loves to rack up miles on foot with a pack on my back. I came up with this idea of the “10K Steps Project.” The concept is simple:

  • Get outside and go somewhere, anywhere, nowhere–just go.
  • Do something creative at some point while you’re out there.
  • Take at least 10,000 steps before you walk back in your door.

That’s it.

I’ve been at this for less than a week, and the wanderings have been memorable already! Yesterday, my wife and I found ourselves at the foot of DanFengShan (Red Phoenix Mountain) about 7,000 steps into the 10,000. The light on the hill was just beautiful, and this overhanging outcrop inspired me, so while she headed home, I plopped down right there beside the road and got out my DIY plein air gear (see the picture, above).

While I tried to capture the shifting light in pastels, a few people passed by and commented. A group of middle aged ladies came down the road and stopped to see. We bantered a little in my broken Chinese. They liked what I had painted at that stage.

One of them stooped down to the pavement, picked up this battered, encrusted Taiwanese dollar coin that was lying there and placed it on my palette cover.

I burst out laughing with delight! I made a dollar! I just got paid to do something I love!

When I was done, I picked up the coin and tucked it into one of the cracks between the pieces of Styrofoam on my palette. It fits perfectly, just a bit higher than the foam so I can see it every time I open the lid.

The universe says “yes” in so many different ways. It’s a matter of perspective. Sometimes it takes a passerby to point it out.