Lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of being “present.” Some people call it mindfulness others call it being aware; in either case I think it means making the most out of what we have and being open to the possibility that there are gifts inside of us that have yet to be discovered.
This fall has been one of adjustments. After a year of being an empty-nester, my youngest son has returned to Pennsylvania and is living at home. He switched colleges and is living the life of a commuter student for the next year.
We share a car, the train station is two miles from our house, and although we’re still trying to nail down the timing of buying a monthly train pass we’ve adapted to our new schedule fairly well.
Every once in a while the opportunity for a walk to or from the train station presents itself. I frequently stop and take pictures along the way; it’s amazing how many hidden treasures we overlook as we hurry through life.
This has been a glorious autumn in Pennsylvania. It may be Mother Nature or it may be recent changes in my life that have caused me to pay more attention to the vibrant reds in this year’s fall foliage. Whatever the case may be, this brilliant tree definitely caught my eye.
The picture isn’t that great – truth to be told, the road from the train station to my house is fairly busy and it’s a not the best place to stop and take pictures. My kids would be worried about me if they knew I was stopping along the road to snap pics with my smartphone so let’s keep this our secret. 😉
The snapshot was good enough to serve as inspiration for an ink drawing.
The leaves were much more challenging than I expected. It took more than a bit of experimenting and a few pieces of drawing paper filled with failed experiments found their way into the fireplace.
I guess in reality they weren’t really failed experiments – just exploration. As soon as I realized that I was trying too hard and took a step back from trying to “please” to just creating things began to take shape.
The answer turned out to be a combination of fine point ink pens and brush tip markers.
I posted the tree on FB as well and one of my aunts made this comment:
I really(!) like this Beth-I immediately thought the tree had one giant leaf on it with fall colors and the ground(swirls) were the fall wind ready to send the leaves into the air.
It inspired some swirling art that creates the image of fall winds and leaves swirling to the ground.
So you may be asking what any of this has to do with “You’re a Poet and You Even Didn’t Know It.”
Until a few years ago I had no idea I was a writer and even less of a clue that I am an artist. Those gifts were hidden inside of me, overlooked and suppressed due to life’s circumstances. There’s no blame to be laid and there are no regrets, I’m simply happy to have discovered that it’s never too late to learn and grow.
My guess is that there are more than a few artists, writers, musicians, poets, and creators of beauty and inspiration that do so without even knowing what they do.
We are all more than we give ourselves credit for.