I paint the nasturtiums before they eat them. I suppose it is a balanced exchange?
I have had an epiphany of sorts during some recent rabbit hole spelunking. (If you know me at all, you will understand my tendency to depth-dive results in "duh" moments transformed into a-ha! insights; and for my next trick I shall be spinning straw into gold.) I am an over-thinker (not the a-ha! or duh) and the exhaustion of chasing my own tail has lead me to quietude. I find hard, physical labor helps here (exhaustion quiets the mind) and frequent retreats into Nature do much to balance out thinking and being. What I understand now from the vantage point of total collapse and surrender (hello, Menopause!) is the lunacy of believing my task is to create deep meaning and purpose through my life.
Now, I can live my life with purpose and meaning, but it seems utterly arrogant to maintain it is my job alone to endow it all with deeper significance or importance. It occurs to me that this notion is unique and specific to human beings in general and is part of our burden having been kicked out of The Garden.
I plant, water and feed and obsess over my nasturtiums and the rabbit comes along and eats them. Who is the dumb bunny here? This being human - by which I mean walking around believing myself to be so bloody influential and important - is exhausting work. I don't mean to downplay the responsibility we humans have for our impact upon the planet - our destructiveness is due in no small part to our stubborn clinging to the notion of ourselves as separate and outside of Nature.
And there I go again, believing I need to say something important. This is my a-ha! - my clinging to the belief that I need to be or at the very least appear to be important to matter. I mean, everything and everyone matters. The rabbit, the nasturtium, me ... we are all equal here. But living with such gravitas, ack! I am mindfully cultivating a lightening up, a freeing up and an opening up of heart, mind, spirit.
I start my days outside on my patio with incense and prayers of thanks. I often linger to watch the antics of the hummingbirds at the feeder. Thinky thoughts have their place, but they can muck up the transmission of such magic.
I meditate daily to help me listen deeply and to relax. I gather my art supplies and I draw and paint ... clouds, trees, butterflies, birds, Moose-dog ... whatever lights me up and fills me up.
I head to the park regularly to walk and listen and look. I still look for meaning, hoping to add to it through my attention and attentiveness. But I am wanting to hear the stories that exist outside of my human mind: the stories of the lake and the land, the Great Heron and the trees, the prairie plains and the skies.
I believe we live in a web of meaning and importance and my role is not so much to be fashioning it, but surrendering to it.
I've missed coming to this space and sharing my experiences, sharing the magical moments that are occurring all around me. I've labored under the belief I must justify my taking up space and time by offering something meaningful or purposeful.
I am here. I am filling up my sketchbooks and filling up my eyes and my heart. Allowing it all to spill out as I fill up again. What I have to share matters to me. It is all I can and want to do. And that is enough.
So I may be diving down more rabbit holes or slipping off into the woods on a regular basis, but my intention is to share those moments. I mean, who am I to hoard what is being offered with such immense generosity and joy?