My First Painting

I have joined Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle. It has been calling to me for months and then April 1 was the start of the Creative Goddess e-course. I could not resist. Creativity has been calling me for quite a while now. I want to explore what embracing it will do…and so it begins…

Tonight, my daughter and I painted. I have not painted since…like…forever. We made a mess, we listened to our hearts and we just did it. She moved on to other things after she was done, but my heart still had something to say…

And so I wrote words as they came to my head. I drew wavy lines that at first had no meaning until I began to see. I then picked up my pen and created a story that curiously matched the picture. Where did that come from? I don’t care, it just feels good to create!

My artwork:

My daughter’s artwork:

My drawing:

My story:

A light rain drizzled over her head. It dripped down the side of her face and off her nose. She could feel the wetness building at the nape of her neck. Her shoulders hunched as she tried to pull the jacket closer around her neck. She knew the tears would come soon. At this point, who cared? Alone in the dark…again. She felt the cold seep into her bones. The rain came harder and her soul grew heavier. The voices teased her over and over. Her own words, spewing hatred to the face in the mirror. His words of rejection and ridicule. Their laughter behind her back.

“Ridiculous”

“Silly”

“Stupid”

“Weird”

“Unworthy”

Each word pushing the knife deeper into her heart.

The rain ran in rivers down her neck. She’d given up on holding the collar tight to her throat. There was no point waiting here any longer. It was evident that he wasn’t coming.

Somehow, her feet moved. Her mind had nothing to do with it. It didn’t care if she stood there and dissolved into the nothingness she felt. But somehow…her feet carried her.

Her hands were numb as she lifted her sleeve to check the time. She had to look again when the only thing that registered when she looked was the fact that he hadn’t called. No one had. No one was looking for her or wondering if she was OK.

The rain poured harder. Thunder began to rumble in the distance. Her feet still carried her forward. Relentless. Pushing on. Splashing through puddles. Forward. She did not think about where they were taking her. All she could hear was those terrible words.

Somewhere, she heard a bird singing. She noticed the water running down her face was just from her hair. The rain had lifted. Still her feet carried her…closer and closer to the quiet. She heard the dripping leaves litter the forest floor with moisture. More birds chimed in and rustled above her.

She noticed she was on a different path this time. This one was quiet. Flickering sunlight peaked at her from through the glistening leaves.

Her icy hands pushed her hair slick back on her head. It felt good to get the dripping off of her face. Her temperature slowly climbed as her feet carried her along the path that gently rose up toward the sky. She could feel her heart in her chest, pushing blood to her cold fingers. The sun was stronger now. She could feel the steam starting to rise from her soaked clothing. The birds were louder; louder than the words.

As her hear pounded, her mind began to settle. The screaming faded to a mutter that she had trouble hearing. She began to forget those angry faces and noticed the clouds as the sun pushed through them.

She remembered a poem that she had written so many years ago. At another time and place when the ideas flowed from her heart like the rain that she’d just been through:

The waves that once were raging with fury

now lap softly at the deserted beach.

The green, murky waters wash the traces

of the storm away to hide in its depths.

Never to be see by the fretful world

in all its grimness and all its pain.

The Lord has commanded the waves to show us

that there is peace, along with the storms.

And the parting black clouds in our hearts

must give way to the shining Son — always.

Why had those words come to her after all these years? Why now? And how did she remember every word she’d written? Suddenly, she realized her feet had stopped moving. The path was gone. She lifted her head…

She felt it more than saw it. The grace. The beauty. Tears blurred her vision. She could see so far around her from this spot. So beautiful, so peaceful, so small. How did everything get so small? She felt so big. Higher than that dark world below. She realized she’d stretched her arms out and had lifted her face to the sun. She felt its warmth deep in her soul. Warm tears squeezed from beneath her eyelids. They ran down her face until she felt them on her lips. She tasted the salt and felt her own smile.

She turned and looked back towards the path…only to find that it was not there. Dense foliage blocked her way. The birds soared about her calling her name. She was sure she’d heard her name? Was she mistaken? Where did the path go? She was sure she’d come from that direction. The only way she could see was a rocky path along a ledge in front of her. She knew she did not come up that way.

Her clothes were starting to dry. The voices and the faces had disappeared entirely. Gone with the strange path that her feet had followed to this place. The words of the poem repeated and ran together in her mind.

The rocky path ahead was narrow. She felt her heart quicken and her face flush:

“What if it wasn’t the right way?”

“Maybe she should force her way back through the dense foliage?”

“Stay with the way she thought she knew?”

“What if she went ahead and the rocky path got steeper?”

“What if it became two paths?”

“Which way would she go?”

She could just sit here and enjoy the view, couldn’t she? Surely someone would come? But who? Who was she waiting for?

The birds continued their glorious celebration all around her.

She took one last look at where she thought she’d been. She breathed in the beauty all around her once more. Her body filled with the sights and smells and sounds of this glorious place. It filled up her courage and her heart. Her mind stopped asking the question as her soul took over:

“What a grand adventure may lie ahead?”

“I wonder what I’ll see?”

“How many other paths are there?”

“How many will I get a chance to follow?”

“Will the birds follow me?”

“What am I waiting for?”

And her feet carried her forward once again. And the sun shone. And the birds sang. And she heard these words:

“Strength”

“Love”

“Healing”

“Faith”

“JOY”

…and she smiled.

Advertisements

My Little Girl

Shooting for the Moon

It was almost two years ago, 2010, when I was working on my Happiness Project. I wrote a love letter to all my children that February. My daughter’s is here  Today, she is one year away from being a teenager. In reality, she already is…My mother warned me, they grow up so very fast.

I sit here this morning, listening to you and your little brother playing. My heart is so full, my children are my whole world, yet there will be a time when I’ll have to let you go. A time not too far away and my heart aches with the thought. Your big brother is almost 21 and talks now of going away to school. I’ve been hoping for him to be inspired, yet at the same time, I don’t want to let him go…And all too soon, sooner than him, I’m sure, you will be flying around the world on some sort of adventure…and I will worry and I will cry, but my heart will sing too because you have so much to offer the world and the world is waiting for you.

We laughed the other day when we were talking about how you were born already grown up! There was no fitting into newborn clothes for you! And hair! You were born needing a haircut! Thick, dark hair made all those nurses fall in love with you instantly. Your father cried; sobbed, really. The first time I’d ever see him do that. I had warned him that he would…that he would fall in love and be completely mush from that day on…and I was right!

I remember sleeping with you, long and stretched out on my chest. There was no curling up for you either – those long legs wanted to be stretched out and dancing even then. You didn’t cry much, but gurgled and coo’ed often. Singing those girl songs like you were yesterday in the shower. I love waking up to your voice.

You have a special place in the hearts of everyone that loves you. As Great Grandma wrote to you last year, “Dear Becca, I admire you as you are a very nice well mannered girl. You are pretty and smart….” and she was certainly right. You miss your Great Grandma and sleep every night with the quilt she made for you when you were a baby. I’ve folded it and put it away and it keeps ending up on your bed. You love spending time with your Grandma, my mom, and she can’t get enough of you. The three of you were the ladies that I always wanted to be like. I’ve never been much of a feminine person, but the three of you always made me feel part of the “club”. I cherish the times that the four generations of us got to be together. I’m sure you’ll cherish them too.

You have those brothers and daddy wrapped around your little finger. They will do anything for you, especially when you pour on your “pouty face”. They can’t stand to see you upset…and promptly give you anything to make you smile again. I just shake my head and laugh. It hasn’t spoiled you though. You would give your last meal to someone else if they needed it. For one so young, you are so very generous. You have given your brothers money, your last piece of chocolate (even when it is your one vice) and all your love and affection.

Our walls are covered with your works of art and I have boxes of treasures that you’ve created. Your multiple projects makes me smile because I can so relate. You and I love to create and make things! It drives your father crazy because we’ve always got things on the go! It’s because we are butterflies, we want to spread beauty everywhere for everyone to see! 😉 That’s what I always say anyway!

Last night, we were helping out at a fashion show and you couldn’t get enough of it. You would rather do things like that with adults than hang out with your friends. It wasn’t so much being around fashion (though you love that!) it was more about you getting to be in the thick of it. It’s funny how grown up you are already. One thing I noticed, other people that were there didn’t really treat you like a kid; you fit right in alongside everyone there helping out. Stuff needed to get done, and you just got in there and did it.

As you sit with your brother and have chocolate cake for breakfast, I smile because you’re still a little girl sometimes. I take a snapshot in my mind to remember. And I send a quiet prayer to heaven asking for you to always remain that way…

 


 

A love letter to my daughter

February has begun, and so, I start this month’s Happiness Project theme: LOVE

I want to think about all kinds of ways that I find happiness in love. In my list of things that I love about me, one of them was that I love deeply.

I have recently been following/reading a beautifully written blog by Lindsey at A Design So Vast. She recently wrote a post: A Letter to Gracie where she writes a letter to her daughter. It is an amazing read.

I thought this would be a great idea to explore my love of each of my children. I’ll start with my daughter.

What is she thinking about?

To my dearest daughter:

The picture above is so truly you. What are you thinking about? I wonder that often. As I know your teachers do. You are forever in dream land and I long to be there with you. I find that I give you trouble about that too often; telling you to focus on the task at hand. Thinking about that, breaks my heart. Too often I pull you out of those dreams and I think that is a mistake.

All too soon you will be a teenager, full of thoughts of boys and college and how soon can you grow up. I need to cherish these moments where I catch you dreaming. I need to sit and dream with you.

I love that you are so much like me: constantly wanting to try new things: a new sport, read a new book, find a new friend, go to a new place. Don’t ever lose that thrill, that love of life! I worry that you will be frustrated like I get sometimes that you can’t do it all. Believe me, my precious one, don’t give up, don’t settle – keep trying those things and know that even though you can’t do all of them all at once, you will get to it if you keep pushing through!

I love that you are so much NOT like me. You are feminine where I am not. You see beauty so much quicker than I do. You love all things beautiful and are quick to point it out to me. It always amazes me how you can put on a dance costume and makeup and have your hair all “perfect”, yet you can throw on a pair of yoga pants and a pony tail and still feel and be gorgeous! I am so glad that you have that self confidence that I never had. You know, even at 10, that beautiful is so much more than outward appearances.

My heart ached for you at the Halloween dance. I saw you, but you didn’t see me. It was your first “dance”. Often I see you at these kinds of social events off to the side, observing. Sometimes you are in the thick of it, but mostly you just observe. You are not really shy, but you are not one of those girls that are surrounded by other kids and the center of attention.

I worry for you, and then I kick myself for worrying. I don’t want you to be one of those girls. Someday, those girls won’t be the center of attention and won’t know what to do. But I don’t want you to be alone either. I am torn. I want you to be popular, but I don’t want you to be one of the “popular” kids. It makes no sense.

What I truly want for you are friends that are true friends. I tell you this when you are sad when one of your “friends” hurt you. I know all too well the sorrow of that. True friends will not hurt you; not make you cry. I want you to have kindred spirits who understand you, who are quiet while you daydream, who lift you up, who believe in you and know you are special.

What do you dream about while you gaze off like that? When you wander around just watching? Are you sad? Are you lonely? Or are you just absorbing all you can? Are you wondering what to do next? Are you dreaming of far away lands and adventures?

Can I hold your hand and follow you there?