Wonder Round (Nov. 18-24, 2018) / by Hayden Michelle

It has been a week of looking deep within, as well as around me, taking in the abundance with a grateful heart, and searching out that which needs deepening and enriching. I hope you have all been connected with those you hold dear, with time to nurture what you hold inside yourselves…

I decided to share a photo taken during the week of circles being shared, a glimpse into the literal world in which I live. Lately, I have really wanted to extend outside of the circle, and it is a fun way to share more of what I see outside my mind :).

“I took a walk as the sun set last eve (after being inside for way too much of the gorgeous day) and I walked the dog up and down our road, pausing to take in the meticulously-kept sweeping farmland of our neighbors. I love to look into the distance and watch the cows graze on the hills, delighted when they pause from their chewing to observe us on our trek. It is nice to sit in silent gaze, although I can never resist happily greeting them and trying to have a bit of conversation. I can feel my breath grow deeper as I breathe in the spaciousness of the rolling hills and ever-changing sky. But my eyes are also drawn to the closer-up details, like the hay bales stored in rows, so perfectly rolled like the shredded wheat I used to love to watch unfold in the milk at the bottom of my cereal bowl... Covered in snow just a few days ago, with grass that had seeded and grown out through the top, I admired their sculptural forms; as the sky filled with rich orange-pink hue on our descent back home, my eyes caught sight of a swatch of blazing color through the space between the bales, a flash of bright, deep, and unexpected intensity, and I almost missed it, thinking of the warm dinner that was waiting inside. These tiny bits of waiting-to-be-found beauty are always there, and I am reminded of the abundance of goodness found between the cracks.”

“I am the first to say that what comes out of my brush in these circles is not usually premeditated— rather, shapes and colors appear that elicit feelings or thoughts in me, as art does for all who view it. Although I woke up in a happy mood, anxious for a morning with extra freedom to work, the circle spoke to other things for which I am holding space in my mind. I am grateful for creativity and the looking glass it provides, giving form to what is beyond my ability to express in word.”

“There has been much soul-searching and pondering about what makes life fulfilling on the most meaningful levels, especially as of late. Perhaps it comes as my spouse and I have crossed into our fifties and our children continue to evolve more fully into themselves and the lives they will choose... it is a powerful thing to connect to what most deeply has meaning for us, and to create our lives around those things to the best of our abilities. It is a work in progress, and I am grateful it can happen in the small and simple ways as well as the larger ones. The core message I have been returning to is allowing myself to be moved by all that is around me and within me, and working out from that center. We are each brought to life by such a wide variety of things, making the world a fascinating and diverse place.”

(this is the only image of this piece that would load— sorry for the irregularity!)

“We all have pockets of hope tucked inside ourselves, there for the protecting, the growing, the releasing. Sending energy to tend to these sacred spaces so that they may continue to sustain you...”

“When I was in that quiet pre-awakening time this morning, I was reflecting over the many ways I have been fortunate in my life— the people, experiences, opportunities, privileges, lessons that have crossed my path. I realized there are really too many too count. I want to express my gratitude to each of you for being part of my life, and hope that your day, no matter spent in the company of others or alone, is full of love, nurturing, and abundance.”

“It was posted on a piece of paper behind the desk of someone I respect and admire, three simple words that I imagine most all of us struggle to believe at one time or another (or daily). It is easy to fall into patterns of pushing ourselves to always do/be more... not in the way that helps us grow or reach beyond what we thought possible in ourselves, but in the way of believing we are not enough on a deep level. I find myself caught in that cycle more than I would like, and am working on sinking into accepting how I am in the moment... Showing up to do these daily paintings brings this up from the first stroke, as I realize I will post whatever comes out, regardless of the “strength” of the painting. It is only when I remind myself that it is just the paint, paper, and myself at this desk that I can relax enough to just let it flow, and when I want it to be done, I can release it without harsh judgement and move on with my day. Perhaps I need to write my own hand-lettered note with these words in letters large enough to see, and post it over my own desk. I do believe we are all more fully ourselves when we live in these words.”

“When I was little and the cold wind would blow through freezing dark days, my mom would always say, “Think of how cold it must be for those without homes, and for the animals who have to be out in it all the time”. Her words ran through my mind this morning as I walked the dog in pitch dark howling weather, warm and dry under my raincoat, hood cinched around my head, and returned to my warm house, ready to put on a pot of tea and sit under a blanket. How grateful I am for these lessons my mother gave which continue to teach...”