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Listen and Shine On

January 19 - Afternoon

We got SO much snow yesterday and last night. So much. I just came in from shoveling and brushing off all of the vehicles and just sat down to think about my morning and the event yesterday where I live painted for the first time (more on that later).

So, every morning of every season I fill and carry a five gallon bucket of water out to my small flock of poultry (22 birds - 18 chickens and 4 ducks). Every morning I open the coop door and say “Good Morning.” I’m not always sure they are happy to see me, but I am sure they are happy to get a drink of water. On this particular morning (today) I had to bring the shovel out first and clear a path for them. I had to scrape off the roof and move mounds of snow. This used to be a really difficult task for me last year and the year before because I had a somewhat physically tasking part-time job. It was a huge burden to know that after a long stressful day of social and physical interaction I had to go home and clear snow and carry water out to an ungrateful flock of animals. To be clear, I adore these animals but they are a bit needy and sometimes quite rude (haha).

Anyway, today, after clearing a path and getting water to my feathery friends, I was lucky enough to look up and notice the sun peaking over the spruce trees in the distance. There is a field between me and said spruce trees and the warm orangey peach color of the rising sun had me feeling so grateful. I had just physically exhausted myself moving frozen water molecules for an unruly and unappreciative flock of backyard birds and I felt warmed and grateful. The new fluffy fresh snow was shimmering like actual diamonds and the minty tint color of backlit Colorado blue spruce had me gazing in wonder. I felt lucky. I do feel lucky most days to experience silent and still moments alone in nature. I felt like that small moment was for me. I felt like that sun coming up over the trees was smiling and shining on me and whispering “I’ve got you, I will shine for you.” But here is the other thing that I was reflecting on after I came inside, not only is it for me, but it is also for you. It is for everyone. That warmth and beauty is for everyone. The still moments belong to you too. They are ours for the taking as long as we take notice. I don’t want to romanticize the experience too much (I am a libra though) because I was also a sweaty mess and had icicles in my hair and my gloves and boots were starting to get wet so I was pretty uncomfortable all around. Yeah, and my back was aching (I guess I’m out of shape?).

Ok, so, now back to the live painting story and how it ties in to this all. Yesterday I had my first live painting event. This basically means I was painting and doing my thing at a local business while the general population carried on and did their thing. I loved it. It felt natural. I’m not sure if my ability to tune people out is a good thing or a bad thing, but while I was painting that is what I did. I got lost in the art and that feeling is what I want every time I pick up my brushes. I felt like that moment was for me. I owned that moment and space and was willing to grant myself permission to escape into my art and be totally present without a thought of what any onlookers thought. That is freedom and joy. Seeing the sunrise on a cold winter morning and feeling warm and grateful is freedom and joy. Painting and expressing myself is freedom and joy.

I guess the whole connection of these experiences is that we are allowed to stake a claim to our own life and experiences. We can take what is presented to use and take notice of the good and the bad. Feeling the feelings and experiencing the experiences is empowering and I hope everyone will let the present moment shine on them. Even through stress, pain and fear during growth I am learning and relearning everyday that facing those moments head on gives me a deeper perspective. I don’t know, maybe I’m overthinking all of this (per usual). I do believe the universe wants to be heard though. It’s really amazing when you’re open to it and tune in even if only for a minute. Listen and shine on my friends! Your moment is coming!


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