Wonder Round (Feb 3-- 9, 2019) / by Hayden Michelle

The pine needles that collected in the crevice of this log emitted the most wonderful scent in the drizzling rain last week. I was rejuvenated by just one short day in the coming-back-alive woods, happy to have time both alone and alongside dear friends in the sacred space of nature. I am carrying this energy forward into this week that is full, reminded that it does not take long to replenish our stores… Wishing you all quiet and stillness in nature or places that bring you comfort and energy.

“As the circle grew into an all-seeing eye, it seemed to be gazing into the horizon.  When I was little, I would mull over who and what lived beyond where my eyes could see, wondering if I focused hard enough, if the answer might come into view.  As I have aged, I still wonder about the lives that are past my own and those I love, all across the world.  It has always made me aware of the privilvlege of living where I do.  As I added in the yellow lines at the end, I realized I returned to the same quiet wish that has remained— for hope to exist for all beings. “

“I do not mind running late for my day when I am happily engrossed in a painting, but this morning is not so much one of those days.  And that is ok.  Onward with the day, letting this circle just be as I remember that the  intent from 11 months ago was to come sit at my desk and paint whatever comes to mind... at least it reminded to be gentle when what is most needed is to let go and get on with the day.  Happy Monday to you all!”

“The small seedlings that burst forth inside the circle this morning made me smile, not only because spring is beginning to round the corner here, but because there is joy in the tiniest of details when we take notice.  I continue to be amazed at how these minute role models of perseverance, with their determination toward growth and light, continue to bring awe, wonder, and inspiration.  May we all find beauty in the itty-bitty today...”

“Enjoying yesterday’s energetic colors, I reached for them again this morning, sitting in contemplation about the gift of life.  Not a one of us knows how long we get to be on this earth, a truth that can feel both daunting and motivating as we seek deeper richness, experience, connection, and meaning in the day before us.”

“I have to admit that this morning was another of those days that took effort to paint anything.  And that is just how it is, eh?  We cannot crank out day after day of any activity without ebb and flow, and must dive in where we can find an opening.  Fortunately, we have Red Oaks Forest School waiting and must get out of the house early, buckets of rain, or not.  Knowing we have something to look forward to helps make the leap forward when we are tired and in need of some rejuvenation... wishing this for all of you, as well...”

“One thing that makes it both difficult to awaken and to proceed out of bed is the pitch darkness of winter mornings... as the wind came howling in overnight to bring our shocking spring-like temperature of 74 down to 30 degrees and continued to whip against the glass this morning, I lie under heavy quilts feeling the privilege of warmth and safety.  Awakening an hour before my already-early alarm was not so much what my body needed in terms of rest, but perhaps what my mind needed— time to luxuriate in space open to thoughts, feelings, and a calm sense of being, without expectation.  It made me recall growing up and coming of the age to have overnights with friends and how when the lights were turned off, some of the best conversations transpired, bringing forth a range of vulnerability, pondering, and utter silliness.  It is nice to experience that darkness can still bring a softening of the mind.”

“I don’t know exactly why I resist (or think I “should not be”) painting in bright colors some days— I suppose it is partly for good measure to push past what is familiar.  Despite always have been enamored with color, I have not always gravitated towards expressing the bright, a process which has evolved over many years of making sure I do nothing to stand out in clothing, paint, voice.   I feel immense gratitude to continue traveling this open road, buoyed up and encouraged to go deeper by mere shades and hues which draw me in... Today’s  is joy-filled, as my sister and her spouse are coming to visit.  I can hardly wait and I happily let the paint exclaim that!”