A little over a year ago, a friend gave me a handmade journal from a small market in Mexico. The purpose of the journal, via the maker, was to write down your wishes and dreams. What you write will “come true.”

While cleaning my apartment up I came across the journal and opened up to the first and only page I had filled in. On it were five words; acceptance, patience, grace, devotion, and lightness. Funny things to wish for, eh? But at times when I feel overwhelmed, when I feel off balance, wanting more than I have at that moment or questioning my current circumstances, these are the kind of things I wish for most — qualities to help me find contentment, positivity and beauty in the present.

Inspired by my “wishes” and in a phase of my life where I am actively seeking ways to self-improve and grow, I decided to design a symbol set for these characteristics/virtues that I wish to manifest.

From the trusty ole Wikipedia:

“A river delta is a landform that forms at the mouth of a river, where the river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, or reservoir. Deltas form from deposition of sediment carried by a river as the flow leaves its mouth. Over long periods, this deposition builds the characteristic geographic pattern of a river delta.”

I’ve titled the symbol set “Deltas” based on the definition of a river delta above. I used the Greek letter Delta, ∆, as the base shape for each symbol and thought the simplicity and power of lines would be most appropriate in evoking the feeling of each Delta within the triangular shape.

These are my Deltas. These are the characteristics I wish to carry and form as I flow through my days.


This symbol is my reminder that the more we graciously accept others, our surroundings, and ourselves, the more naturally things flow and good energy seeps out. We can’t control the uncontrollable, we can only control our perspective and our actions.

To communicate acceptance, I used the enveloping and overlapping of lines leading the eye the heart of the triangle. Tuck yourself on in there.


This is what I view as my weakest of virtues. I’m usually quite good about being patient in long lines, sitting in traffic, happily entertaining myself when the food I ordered takes twice the expected time. But when it comes to realizing bigger projects or milestones, or wanting to accomplish something that I tell myself surely isn’t too far of a reach, I can get extremely impatient with myself and with others.

This symbol is my reminder that nothing needs to be rushed to the point of over-exhaustion and compromise. Find beauty in the moment and breathe. Never get so caught up in your desires and imagined future that you aren’t patient with yourself and those around you, even if that future is just a delicious lox and bagel.

This symbol was also the hardest for me to create. To communicate patience, I wanted to create a still tension between the triangle and what is inside. You want that circle to move and do something while it’s sitting there, patiently, don’t you?


This symbol is my reminder to act with grace. To move with refined simplicity, elegance and thankfulness — and remember that how we carry ourselves ultimately reflects the positive or negative energy we carry within us.

To communicate grace, I used soft swooping lines that effortlessly lead your eye from the top of the triangle to the edges. Curl up beneath those pretty wings.


This is my reminder to always make time for the practices and people in my life that keep me grounded, despite how fast-paced we move throughout our days, how many responsibilities stack up or indulgences sneak their way in.

To communicate devotion, I wanted the lines to be very deliberate and show strength/integrity. Respect the lines, be the lines.


I tend to end up on the heavier hearted side of things. I’ll over analyze, dive in deep, searching for meaning and unnecessarily assign weight to things. Though there are many matters that deserve that weight, that depth, that consideration — most of the time stepping back and saying, “Don’t think about it so much” helps the most. Being bogged down in heavy thoughts can keep the small, simple, overlooked pleasures from popping up in my days.

This is my reminder to take myself and life a little less seriously and just enjoy the ride. A little childish enthusiasm and playfulness is good for the soul, yeah?

To communicate lightness, I quickly drew a whimsical, carefree lil line in the middle of the triangle (many, many times until I decided “eh, that works” ☺). Let your eyes ride that fun wavy line.

I look forward to implementing my Deltas — into my daily life and into other mediums.

“Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.” — Lao Tsu

Copyright © 2015 Leslie Tolbert