I visited the farm last weekend where my son and his family are building their dream home.
A peaceful spread of land in southeastern Virginia where two cornfields meet, and a tiny white clapboard Quaker church stands alone. I'd never dreamed my youngest son would build his family home here thirty years after I'd brought him here as a tot.
With four children of his own, I took a long deep breath and smiled. WOW! Each one in turn tugging on my leg to show me their new home.
When at last the kids settled, my son's wife Becky invited me to her wildflower garden.
We stepped off the back porch and across the field into her meadow of black eyed susan, coreopsis, lambs ear, coneflower, bee balm, and a host of shoulder-high blooms I can't begin to know them all.
From Construction Zone to Joy's Garden
A world away from goings on in the construction zone of the house, freshly mown pathways led us through the meadow. Butterflies flitted in and out. Sprouts underfoot didn't seem to mind being trampled.
Speechless, I listened as Becky animated her way of seeding the wild garden. An arched stroke here, and there, and around again, as she and Dan walked the field early in the spring. As if she'd taken the whole bag of seed and thrown it in the wind ~ trusting the Creator would sprout them up, water them with clouds, and by gosh she was right!
An Inkling Takes Shape from the Heart
The week following I couldn't get it out of my mind.
The feeling of love, her enthusiasm, the fragrance of the earth, vibrant color of the flowers against the blue blue sky. A bluer sky than I ever felt.
I just had to paint that feeling.
You see, I've learned something profound. People inspire my paintings.
Love Inspires Us
Unconditional love, acceptance, understanding, compassion ~ all of it fuels the inspiration for each and every one of my paintings.
It happened gradually, so subtly I hardly noticed at first.
And then when I realized I'd been praying for redemption with every brush stroke ~ trying desperately to fix or change the bad things I didn't like about each one ~ I saw myself.
Trying to fix and change myself, to be better than what?
Acceptance of Ourselves Just the Way We ARE
I realized that the Creator had answered every prayer, granting me peace with every painting I redeemed.
I stepped off the spinning workaholic act.
For a few days I thought perhaps I'd not wish to paint again. REALLY! If I am not working hard to fix the mistakes, correct what's wrong about each painting ~ then what?
And then Becky invited me into the wildflower meadow.
There I saw clearly what the Creator had in mind.
Scatter seeds of Strength, Courage, Passion, & Faith
This first pastel painting came with an extra long title.
"Penetrating, Seeping, Saturating me to my core, grace entwined with my dreams."
You can see how I used typeography in the art above, to let the words of the prayer seep into the colors of the wildflowers in the painting.
Painting wildflowers in the meadow, the prayer came in longer.
"High on a hill with a cloud and a prayer, my heart blooms, radiant.
Fill my green meadows with coral pinks, lavender blue and gold.
Dreams seeded in winter, flourishing prayers, answered.
Surround me with joy, precious moments, one by one."
With them came the Creator's instructions ~ simple, so simple I nearly missed the point entirely! Pair the art with prayers and scatter the seeds.
So be it. Thus THE WILDFLOWER PROJECT began . . .
High on a Hill with a Cloud and a Prayer
Scatter seeds of strength, courage, passion, & faith. Share with friends & family. Scatter far and wide. Like wildflowers ~ they'll sprout even if we don't believe ~ they will!