Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Warmth of the Sun

Every morning I am blessed to be woken up by the song of a radiant red Cardinal-- this morning wasn't any different except that this morning I woke up freezing in my 79 degree temperature house. I don't understand it. I guess I was just so warm and snuggly in my bed that the rest of the house just wasn't good enough to replace the safety of that little nest.
On our couch sits Mckenna's old quilt- a beautiful yellow, and green gingham, blue and pink floral Wedding Ring Quilt (very similar to the picture on the right). Anyway, I snuggled up in the blanket determined to warm up so that I could watch last night's American Idol. Colton sings, 4 singers later and I am still freezing. I pulled the blanket tighter and it still wasn't warming me up. I go  open the doors to the pool lanai and step outside and it was WARM! It was only 9:00 a.m. I can't tell you how wonderful it felt on my shivering body.
I finish watching AI. With a mission in mind I gather a book, water and a few writing implements and head out towards the chairs sitting on my pool deck and around the corner walks the pool guy. Crap, no deck time for me while he is here. All I want to do is pretend I am a lizard and stick my body and face in the sun.

(commercial Break for Al's Pool Service)
I have to tell you the pool guy was a welcome sight because our pool has been out of commission all fall & winter long. The water level dropped to a depth of 3 feet. Al (the pool guy) kept the water from turning green until we could get a more sophisticated pool (plumber?) man here to see where the water was leaking, (our landlord has a theory that in the winter the pipes shrink and so the water leaks out where the jets are located. Then when the weather starts heating up the pipes they swell and the water doesn't leak.) Here is to hoping that the sophisticated pool man's work fixed the leak so that I don't have to continue to fill the pool up 3 feet every week like I was doing in the fall.

(now back to the real story)
Finally I was able to get out to my chair with all the previously packed articles when the breeze decides to pick up and I am still shivering. Arms puckered I move the chair into a less breezy spot  within direct sight of the sun, grab The Five Little Pepper and How They Grew and lay back in the chair. Drowsy like a lizard on his warm and cozy rock I fell asleep in my chair. The warmth of the Sun had soothed me just like my little nest the night before. I was loving being outside. Waking up I was a little neck sore. I wanted more that anything at that moment to plop myself right down on Mckenna's quilt in the grass and take a deeper longer nap but I knew I was hindered by these really annoying little worker bugs called red ants that for some reason hate when I disturb their walkways, their homes or their grocery stores. Northern Tall Fescue I really missed you today.

Like my bed, the quilt, and the sun-- I have a warmth that is radiating through my bones today. I want for nothing. I sing with a grateful heart one of my favorite church songs in praise of the beauty that the Lord God has blessed us with:

Whenever I hear The Song of a Bird

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Day in the life...

Blooming Potential

She is crowned with a tan domed straw hat as if she is on safari yet sitting there on her front tilt chair she is elegant and poised.  Arm straight out reaching for the blank canvas she delicately glides her brush towards the left ever so slowly.  To my mind this so  painstakingly maddening I want to blurt out- hurry show me what you see!  But, she continues to her own beat. The blue-tinged brush leaves a trail, a faith echo of the water several feet in front of her. she dabs the brush in the cup on her easel and adds a muddy brown layer sporadically over sections of the small blue line she has previously made. Her pallet filled with soft calming shades of color she dips a new smaller brush into the paint this time mixing a small amount of white with silver and reaches up higher on the canvas creating the heavens where a tan obelisk is pointing. Again she dabs her brush this time laying out a foundation to where blossoms will sit on the long slender branches of the tree in preparation for the upcoming weeks work.

I am so curious about the time that she has spent on the quarter filled canvas that I argue with myself on whether I should strike up a conversation with her or leave her to her solitude. After being silent for so long, I quietly ask her if it's okay to take a picture of her and her canvas; hoping this will get her talking. I know that people like to be left alone but I also know that artists of any kind usually love to talk about their work and so with that one question she answers my wish. In her original straight armed brush to canvas movement she poses for my camera. 

Seven years she has come back to this same exact spot to immortalize the view that permeates her sight. For the past two days her gaze has been filled with the obelisk, the water and the tiny rosy buds fighting to burst through into popped corn blooms. Down the path a few trees have already burst and their candy sweet perfume permeates the air. I am green with envy that she will be able to observe next week all the trees showing pink tinged sugary petals dancing in their spring jubilee. A second thought of envy encroaches on my heart, she truly will be engulfed with an overpowering gift from God: the power to be in the moment of reflecting on God's beautiful creation: the famous D.C. japanese cherry blossoms.

I am thankful for her generosity to share her story and after our conversation is over. I apologize for bothering her yet also thanking her for her kindness of answering my questions. At our parting she hands me a business card saying she will be updating her website each day with the progress she has made on the painting if I would care to follow along. I am touched that she would share and that I will be able to watch her talent show up on the canvas more than just this once. I eagerly accept the card and wander off onto the path around the lake. I pick a bench with a view of this painter appropriately named Michela the female form of a great artist Michelangelo and settle myself down to write about my experience.

Yes, I know I am an interesting tourist; alway camera in hand like any other but also a notebook, pen, pencil/eraser, eye glasses and reading book tucked away in my large
stylish cotton candy pink petaled purse bought just for the purpose of transporting these precious items. Always a book in possession, always finding quiet places tucked away to read and experience the surrounding life of that one new area that breathes to me. 

When I set out this morning. My destination was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial to spend my time on a rock surrounded by the waterfalls and the forestry illusion created there. After meeting Michela and taking time to write my experience while it was fresh in my spiritual mind. I finally approach the intended destination and was smacked with the unfathomable fact that there was not a single droplet producing the raging roar of the previous days exploration. The waterfalls it seemed were turned off and to make matters worse there were crowds, I mean large crowds of tourists wandering around my place of solitude.

There was no way that I was going to be able to shut out that many people and just be in the moment! I realized that I had already had my amazing and inspirational moment already today and hightailed it out back to the waters edge and that same bench where Michela painted nearby.  I eased out of my newly purchased walking shoes stretched out on the bench and read to my little hearts content disappearing into the story of an Opera singer, a Japanese business man, a Vice President and a terrorist takeover. 

  • What I gleaned from my inspired moment was that Happiness is where ever you decide to find it and here in the capital of our nation (amongst polititians who love to argue,) today happiness was at the West Potomac Tidal Basin. 


*If anyone would like to follow along on Michela's progress here is her blog:

*added 3/20/2012 appropriately the first day of Spring.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finding my way to Poetry

Evey Day Poems asked the question: "How did you find your way to poetry?" I have read many fantastic poets and yet was still ambivalent to poetry until a genius Creative Writing teacher opened my eyes. Here is the poem that I wrote for her which was included in our Poetry Unit Portfolio.

Ode to a Brilliant Blonde

My life has now been changed
because I have been inspired to
put down my words in a new way.
Words are no longer just to read but a
picture, a sound, a taste or a touch.

The clicking of black keys with white letters
has always been my friend, but now the click
means that I can get frustration, sadness, happiness
connected through the snapping of brain waves
on to the page through a more imaginative process.

I have all this thanks to a brilliant blonde.

In the beginning I was afraid to put
down the words, over thinking placement,
syntax and rhyme, no more. I find myself
writing in the wee hours when the owls
are awake, right before the yellow orb rises into the
grey blue sky or during a climb when the moon is
at its hungriest.

I think it might drive my tow-headed teenagers batty
writing down things or speaking into my
phone recorder to remember ideas
I have observed that I would like to write about.

They tell me writing is now like a drug,
I can never calm the fix.
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, I just know

That I HAVE to write.

Images dance for me where ever I reside
no longer do I look at things critically
without seeing a more beautiful, creative
side to the view

Football players turn into
soldiers; dancers turn into pirouetting windmills;
flowers turn into talking, Victorian women.
life is like Wonderland and the outlook divine,
i’m looking forward to next semester
when we learn to rhyme.