My Four Seasons

The idea of creating a mandala for each of the four seasons came to me last January, at a time when I had been feeling pretty sure that I was finished making them.  And then, the concept just popped into my head, complete with subtitles for each of them, so I felt that I had to go through with the project.  Each one was worked on and completed within its own season.  Much to my surprise, it turned into a labor of love, and has been an amazing and healing way of learning about myself and how I feel, as each of the seasons revealed their sweetness to me  and yielded its position to the next in line.  Four circles (cycles) sitting inside the larger cycle (circle) of one year.  Perfect for a person like me who loves looking at almost everything in terms of circles and time passing.

Winter (Stillness) was about finding the quiet place inside myself, wrapping myself in a cocoon of silence, of safety, of protection.  Finding imagery to echo Stillness was quite a challenge.  But the most important lesson was to discover how much movement there could be within the Stillness of the winter months, how much opportunity for growth and change.  How bright it all really was.

Spring (Tolerance) held a kernel of an idea that somehow everything and everyone could work together toward growth and cooperation, toward the promise of blossoming.  But in reality, nature is messy and free and wild.  There is an unruly aspect to Tolerance.  Things are popping up all over the place, yet they all seem to know when and where to grow.  My lesson was strong and clear.  Get out of the way and let it happen.

Summer (Trust) became a way of finding renewed strength and confidence.  I always love summer, since  I was born at the end of July and feel my happiest during the heady part of summer that Leo rules.  This year, I learned to Trust my body more and to be more grateful for it.  In return, it allowed me to garden and to be creative and to keep learning about life and love, about getting and giving support.

Fall (Vulnerability) took me totally by surprise.  Originally, its subtitle was Surrender, but I realized that Vulnerability was more appropriate for what I was feeling.  It was supposed to have a leaf in the center, but that changed to a Falling Figure (a motif I painted many years ago).  I tried to turn it back into a leaf, but the figure demanded to be seen.  It is about everything being revealed in the Fall.  As the leaves fall, we see and are seen.  Both make us more Vulnerable.  I mourn for what I have lost.  I rejoice for what I have gained.  It is a bittersweet time.  And what I have learned is that being Vulnerable is okay.  Maybe not always fun, but always okay.

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This entry was posted by susanbradfordart.

7 thoughts on “My Four Seasons

  1. Susan,

    I am really appreciating these and especially in combination.
    Fall/Vulnerabiltiy really does seem to both “round” them out and cap off the set. A vibrant, striking embodiment of being vulnerable.

    Thanks for sharing these with us and for continuing to express yourself in art. I gain inspiration and satisfaction from witnessing your artistic journey.

    Blessings,
    Stan

  2. Hi, Susan – I’m a little late to this party, but just saw these incredible mandalas you created. I’m so happy you listened to that inner calling and allowed these beautiful images to manifest. Thank you! Lina

  3. I found your blog through Seedbud. Your mandalas are beautiful. They remind me of watching Tibetan monks create a sand mandala during 5 wondrous days, after which they destroy it and put the sand into a stream or river. They also gave some away. I still have mine.

    • Thank you so much! To be compared to the Tibetan sand mandalas has totally made my day. And how fabulous that got to experience them making one over such an extended period of time. Very special!

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