Wonder Round (Oct. 14-21, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

This week has brought a slice of many parts of life as each day brought new experiences. It is profound how we are changed by our surroundings and daily living. I am grateful to be in a community that comes together when needed and continues to enrich, support, and grow closer, bit by bit.

(“I love to watch the moon appear in the night sky, watching the changing phases that seem to unfold all too quickly as the days pass. I think my favorite of all is when the moon is visible only as a sliver. I am amazed at the amount of light that is cast on the fields below from even that small bit, a reminder that hope and vision are possible with just a glimmer of light.”)

(“Reading this one simple word, “safe”, after awakening quite early when no discovery of the missing child had yet been made, filled me with overwhelming relief. In this small community, people from all walks of life pulled together to search for this little girl, finding her at 4:30 this morning, in the woods 2.5 miles from her home. I feel immense gratitude for Eden’s safe reunion with her family, and for the tremendous efforts put forth by so many in the search efforts, whether on foot, sharing of sustenance for those out on the ground, communication efforts that kept people informed and organized, and the prayers and positive energy shared by people from all over... such a reminder that life can change in the blink of an eye, and that people will put forth the best in themselves when called upon for someone in need. Please keep this girl and her family close, as well as all those who were involved, as they recover from this traumatic experience and sink into the joy of her finding...”)

(“As the hue of the goldenrod is fading, I have been noticing sadness at the leaving of rich color. I began pondering what we transition to inside our homes to bring light and warmth as the color drains outside, and am looking forward to firing up the wood stove and gathering around it with my family, bringing out favorite quilts made with fabric infused with memories of long ago (stitched by my mama’s hands), a time when working over a vat of hot beeswax brings comfort rather than adds to the heat outside, and the earlier setting of the sun, which makes going to sleep so inviting. What things do you most look forward to with the change of seasons?”)

(“Patience is a virtue that continually challenges me. I think that is because it is linked to trust... We all have things that require a tremendous amount of both, try as we might to change what is before us either in time, intensity, or outcome. This simple laying down of ink brought that awareness out of my muddied feelings this morning, and I am grateful to at least be able to give it form, as it always lessens the internal pressure when I bring it outside of myself. Hope you all find even the smallest of ways to cultivate patience and trust in your days.”)

(“As I sat through an entire day of orientation yesterday for Kentucky Crafted alongside 8 other artists juried in by the Kentucky Arts Council, the amount of energy in the room was palpable and the temperature of the room reflected that as it continued to rise while we eagerly soaked up new pieces of information, offerings, and support that were being offered by this wonderful program. It was invigorating to hear the path of each artist there, their love of making art of all kinds, powerful. And it was moving to hear each presenter speak about the program— exuding kindness, availability, reassurance, professionalism, and optimism, despite the fact that because of funding cuts for the Kentucky Arts Council, they have gone from a staff of 20 to a staff of 11 since June. They remain very proud of the program and of the state in which we live, and strive to continue to grow the longstanding and strong tradition of arts here, so vital to many layers of all of our lives, artist or not. As my body was registering the growing warmth in the room, I thought of how much we all come alive when we are connected to that which moves us and makes us happy, and are supported in bringing it out. I connected deeply to gratitude, and send encouragement to each of you to do what you love.”)

(“Yesterday as I was sitting by the bubbling creek, lost in my thoughts and the patterns of the current as it went by, I was greeted by the rushing up of two girls in our @redoaks_explorersgroup, urging me to, “Shut your eyes and open your hands!”. Of course, I obliged, not being able to repress the smile at being told what to do with such expectancy and anticipation (both theirs and mine!). My face went into full surprise when I laid eyes on the beauty of a fossil that one of them laid in my hand— a perfect spiral formed in a rock worn smooth by the water. A boy had discovered one two weeks ago that I was amazed by (and not-so-secretly coveting), and I assumed it had been a once in a lifetime find. To see another in my hand was thrilling, but what made it even more special was that it was being gifted to me by this child. I encouraged her to take it for her collection, but to no avail. As we walked alone along a path in the woods later, I told her how much it meant to me, and how I would keep it on my painting desk and send her good thoughts every morning as I reflected on her generous heart and spirit. She shared dear words with me, and I felt such gratitude for this depth and vulnerability of sharing.

That is one of my favorite things about homeschooling— we have many opportunities to get to know each others’ kids and have meaningful interactions with them. I deeply appreciate the trust that is built by sharing not only the parenting as we are out in nature, but the nurturing and experiences of discovery and joy. It is a precious gift, and one that truly does go both ways. I hope no matter the stage I am at in life that I stay connected to the energy of children, who make us grow bigger every day...”)

(“I am not sure why rising and setting suns keep showing up in these circles... I suppose it is because I am aware of the gift of them, each one a privilege to witness as we continue to have a body in which to breathe and see. Today I am starting over on scanning all the watercolor circles I painstakingly scanned for 7 hours yesterday, only to have the program glitch out and erase my day’s work. Clearly, this was not a life-threatening crisis, but it did occur to me that if it were my last day on earth, it was not how I would be spending it. I am working to be mindful of connecting to the joy in each task of the day, even the mundane and not-so-enjoyable ones, hoping to remain connected to the purpose behind each, recognizing it is part of being alive and growing (and did I not just have a post on patience, haha?).”)