This past year has been deeply challenging. Fear & uncertainty have tried to take the lead in my thoughts. We all have had to navigate this odd time in our own way, perhaps finding ourselves planted in unfamiliar territory, possibly learning a lot about our comfort level in solitude or perhaps not sure how the bills were going to get paid.
It is hard to believe it has been a little over a year since we learned we had been hit with a strange virus and had to go into shutdown mode. I remember waking each morning thinking it was all just a bad dream and then, reality would set in … I had to figure this out, I had to bloom where I was planted, but how could I possibly bloom during this time when we were all hurting… it felt incredibly awkward and selfish to even think about marketing or selling my art.
After a few weeks glued to the news, I shut it off and tuned into creating….not to sell, just simply creating painted hearts out of watercolors, with notes from my heart attached …notes of support and gratitude to those that had been hit hard with this mysterious bug. I mailed the heart notes to hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities. I mailed notes to farms, grocery stores, drug stores and restaurants, thanking them for working tirelessly providing essentials. I hurt for those that had lost loved ones, lost jobs and businesses, or simply were just feeling lost.
I began to realize that my strength was important…important for my family, for others and for me. I could not let fear prevail! I did not have frontline skills to contribute but there were things I could do behind the scenes to help, like sending heart notes. I could provide empathy & compassion through art. My strength was needed for those that were so exhausted to gather enough for themselves. I just wanted to help in any way possible!
And then, something magical happened! About four months into the shutdown I was commissioned to create two paintings…then sold two of my previous works. Oh gratitude! One of my clients shared with me that my art made she and her husband incredibly happy, especially during this difficult time….it brought a “beautiful light into their home”. It was at that moment I realized that with everyone closer to home, the desire for humans to create a cozy and safe home space meant more than simply wanting to complete a project… it went deeper than that. I began to see that this time of pain and confusion had gathered up strength and been used to refresh our appreciation, gratitude, and joy that maybe we had lost touch of in our busy lives!
I have learned a lot over this past year, some silly things (a little humor is good to keep the sanity) and some more serious things. I have learned I can fit into youth size sneakers which are less expensive than adult sneakers. I have learned that mask wearing doesn’t stop me from applying my favorite lip color because, you just never know. I have learned that if I ever should become stranded on a deserted island I now have the skills and most likely could survive, without toilet paper. And on the more serious side, I have learned an even deeper love and appreciation for my freedoms and for human connection. And, I have absolutely confirmed that within us all there is an incredible strength, we just have to tap into it, allow it to shine and flow, even when life gets really tough! Find your strong dear friends and bloom with grace wherever you find yourself planted!
“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace”. ~ French Proverb