In January, I came up with the idea of doing a new mandala for each season of the year. I finished the one for Winter on the day before the Spring Equinox. This one is ready well in advance of summer. Good for me!
The sub-theme for Spring is Tolerance. And here is why. Do all the flowers get stressed when they start coming up at the same time in Spring? Do they fight with each other for space, or crowd each other out, or deny each other light and water? No, they somehow make it work. And even when the weeds start to take over, they all still tolerate each other. They all know what to do. My personal lesson in all this is to be more tolerant of those who don’t act with kindness, or who don’t care about the good of the planet, or don’t have a particularly humanitarian philosophy. I recognize that we are still all connected whether I want to admit it or not.
But perhaps my greatest challenge in the Tolerance department is for those nearest and dearest to me. It is so easy to get annoyed or to need and demand perfection from them. I want to feel like the two ribbons of blue in the mandala, entwined yet flowing in different ways and in a different rhythm. I want to be working toward the sun and putting more and more consciousness into the tangle of green. Coming through in the orange and pink flowers. It’s all growing in its own way and in its own time. And oh my, I want to be more tolerant of myself as well. That dark spot almost in the center of the mandala. The remnant of darkness from the Winter months. The remainder of mistrust and doubt in my soul.
This is the third Spring that we have lived in this house, the third Spring that I have seen the clematis in bloom, and the third Spring that I am getting to watch it engulf more and more of the house. There is something so spectacular about this expanse of pink spreading out over the porch on the main floor and spreading up to the small deck that is off our second floor bedroom. It almost takes my breath away. And each year I eagerly wait for it because for me, it signifies the true beginning of the abundance of green and color that is yet to come. I means that it’s time to wake up!
As time goes by, I am getting more and more in rhythm with this property that we are renting. I know what to expect now that the daffodils and tulips are gone. The lilacs are already in bloom. The heather kept blooming throughout the winter. Soon there will be irises, another happy moment. It is the rhythm of Spring and the awakening of my body and my brain. I await the lilies and the peonies and the hollyhocks as the prospect of summer entices me on these lovely sunny days.
I create in the early evening while it is still light out, and my back tells me that I’ve done enough gardening for the day. Then I can be in my studio and allow the experiences of the day to inform what I paint or what I weave or what I draw or what I read. All one.
Still a bit cool, especially at night. I move in that rhythm as well. The cool evenings invite soup or stews or casseroles, and some red wine. I allow myself to rest and am delighted that I can sleep with a down comforter on these cool nights.
The mornings are for greeting the day and the clematis!!
This is what the studio looked like just before I left for Pennsylvania in early April. There were lots of projects in process. Paintings, drawings, baskets, painted magnets. It was messy and lively. It felt so good to be in there. I was content.
Today it felt a little abandoned. It needs a good cleaning. It wants attention. I need to reestablish contact with all those projects. I need to reset my priority to be in there. I always have great plans to float right back into painting as soon as I get back home. I have so many ideas.
And then I’m always a little more tired, a lot less creative, and more behind with other stuff than I bargained for.
So be it!
I flew home from PA yesterday across the country to WA. The plane flew low enough and the day was clear enough that I could see the scenery passing by. Low hills, flat plains, the Rockies, more flatness, and finally the Cascades. I was hoping for a good view of Mt. Ranier, but by the time we hit the coast, it was cloudy and gray. I was home, indeed!
So this view of the Eastern Cascades will have to do!
While on the plane and taking pictures with my iPad, I was feeling so thankful for my life. For the continued opportunity to return to the Poconos for work, play, and friendship. And for the beauty of my home on Orcas, and the love that is always waiting for me there. It all sounds so corny, but still it is how I feel.
A good friend of mine asked me to create a set of chakra paintings for her office. It is always wonderful for me to be challenged in this way, so I eagerly said yes to her. Feeling into each chakra (or energy center) in this new way really allowed me to look at myself in a new way, too. To present each one in a glowing, healthy way, I had to align with my own first and visualize one after the other feeling strong and whole. And then I had to figure out what that would look like for each one. The seven paintings on paper are a combination of oil paint, watercolor, oil bars, pastel, pencil, and charcoal.
What a great opportunity to play and paint!