My husband and I have worked for sixteen years healing this piece of land to create a life of beauty and peace. We grow organic hay for our horses and organic fruit and veggies for ourselves.I’ve struggled, losing most of my family and many of my animals since we moved here. I buried their ashes under the mulberry trees. Last year when I turned sixty I decided to slow down, to take time, to reflect on the fragmented pieces of my life. I ambled through my memories hoping to discover my purpose on this earth. What is my gift to give? What will I leave behind when I am gone? I reach for the threads that run throughout my life. The ones that stay with me are the moments of beauty and peace.
In times of conflict and chaos, peace is hard to find and beauty is hard to see. People are busy trying to save their jobs, their homes, their children, their very lives. We live in troubled times, with tragedy and suffering all around us. How do we break the pattern of only seeing the worst? What makes us change?
In the evening on our farm, I’ll be rushing around doing chores, feeding chickens and barn cats, bringing the horses in for dinner, focused on the tasks at hand. And then, I look up. What I see is spectacular. Breath taking. My world stops. My to do list vanishes. All my worries disintegrate into thin air. The color of the sky–it’s sheer beauty–transports me to a state of peace.
The moment is fleeting. Gone before I catch my breath. When there is time, I grab my camera to capture an image with the hope that it will continue to carry me to a place without deadlines, without worry.
I’ve learned to see the world through the eyes of an artist. Every day my mind buzzes with possibilities. Paint. Clay. Fabric. Photos. Spaces. Words. But without moments of peace, none will come to fruition. It is my greatest challenge–to balance the fast paced creative mind with stillness. When I find it, all I need is to let it flow through me and out my fingers.
All? It takes every fiber of my being to make it happen for even an hour. To finish takes sterner stuff. It takes focus. Continuity. Steadfastness. This is my journey . . . and my art. A blending of impulsive responses to my environment with the structure needed to communicate my heart. It’s a struggle every day–and a joy. Perhaps you will find beauty in my work . . . may it bring you peace.
From peace comes beauty. From beauty comes peace.