Corny Things

With the playgrounds closed, the only thing there is to do lately is to go on walks, hikes, or bike rides. (Or bake). I love to cook and bake as much as the next person, but I can only eat so much sourdough bread. I started painting rocks. I thought it might bring a smile or giggle to kiddos out and about. Multiplied by no parks, stay at home orders, etc., it seemed like a fun way to help get out the stir crazies. Beginning in March, it was a way to fill some time, be creative and get outside a bit.

I remember seeing cute little lady bug rocks out at my favorite trail – they’ve been there for years. The minions and I gathered up some good rocks at the beach and we started painting. One kid painted one, the other kid painting a few but lost interest. I however fell in love with it and have continued on painting little random images onto rocks and hiding them around our neighborhood. Many were inspired by the internet.

Some are better than others. A few are left in our own flower beds. Most I paint and then hide in random trees or by community mailboxes.

I love a good pun, much to my kids’ disgust. I love showing them my latest and them groaning and rolling their eyes at how corny their mother is. “Oh mom!” I don’t even care. It’s funny punny.

Our community has a Facebook group page and people started posting the found rocks with their kids’ smiling faces. My daughter was irritated that I didn’t speak up and post that it was our rocks that were found. “That’s part of the fun – not knowing who is doing it!” I explained. She disagreed. Oh well.

While out walking the dogs the latest artistic creation in one particular tree in front of a house that I know has a couple of littles. I quickly made my deposit last week and I hear the door swing open and I walked quickly away. A window slid open and the mom I regularly wave to as we drive by called out to me.

“He saw you! I couldn’t stop him!” I laughed and agreed that I was in fact busted. “Are you the one that has been painting these rocks?” She asked me. I smiled and said yes, it was me, but that I’d found some in my walks that were not ours – that others had started painting and hiding, too! She said she loved them and it gave them something to look forward to on their walks.

Today as I was finishing up painting a fresh batch, the hubby walked in holding a gift bag. Curious I asked him what it was.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “It was on the porch.” I opened it up and found a card and some acrylic paint pens!

I got teary as I read the card. I remember how hard deployment was with littles under normal circumstances, but with COVID19 on top of it, playgrounds unavailable, stay at home orders – Groundhog Day is likely an understatement. Painting these tiny canvases has been a fun escape but has reminded me of the importance of community. While we may be socially distancing, we still need each other. People need people.

And maybe just a little splash of art.

Cancelled

Spring

Rebirth

Renewal

Humanity

Faith

Community

Family

Joy

Love

Spring

Hope

~ none of these are cancelled.

The frivolous extra is.

Formal clothing, a building, hats, matching shoes, baskets, colored eggs, the have to’s, the should’s, the busy and unnecessary are all stripped away.

Essentials only.

Spring is not cancelled

The Church is not a building.

Easter is not cancelled.

The Tomb is empty.

 

Day Fiftyteenth: I don’t even know anymore, and does it really matter?

I have basically been at home (with about 3-4 outings for essentials) for 39 days. (The minions were ill 2 weeks before the stay at home orders in our state were put into effect). In these 39 days, I’ve learned a couple of things about myself. I consider myself an introvert, with a few extrovert tendencies. I cherish alone time – not only that, it is essential for functioning. If a solo recharge doesn’t happen on the regular, shut down is guaranteed. Being amongst the peoples drains me. Through this craziness I find I am in fact the “chatty-chat monster” that the minions have long-accused me of being. Who knew I was such an extrovert?! I will talk the ear off of a random person in the checkout line, the checker, the bagger, the checker 2 aisles over – they are adults; let’s converse the day away! I apparently have no shame. Now? Oh man, do I miss the niceties and courtesies that we all share when conducting our everyday business. 

I have been craving the creative. Photography, sewing, writing, and of course art projects with the kids have been recent channels of expression. Blocks of time to fill with no must-do’s create an enormous vacuum, and Netflix, internet surfing and mindless activity will only take us so far. Creativity has been heart-filling and anxiety-dampening.

Nature hasn’t been forgotten, simply not prioritized. I crave nature like oxygen. Hiking, biking, running, walking the dogs, even standing in the back yard and feeling the soft blades tickle the arch of bare feet – it all satisfies. I feel the presence of the divine when lost in my thoughts while lost in nature. More often than not, magic happens when in that space. Not magic in the slight of hand way, but what I call “Universe Winks”. Things like butterflies landing on my shirt, that are more than just “woo-woo”, and far more than coincidence.

Whales are common in Puget Sound. But, in most of my life living here (save a few years of duty stations elsewhere) I have never seen them in the wild. Neighbors had been posting that they’d “seen the whales playing out behind our circle”. I would rush out, and by the time I’d arrived, the whales evidently thought it was time to hide. Disappointed, I would return home. My daughter and I walked along the trails that border our neighborhood looking expectantly for any signs of whales. Lots of seagulls, which I also adore, but no whales. Countless times I walked out expecting to be awed, praying for a “moment”, then immediately chastising myself for asking for something so trivial when I have already been given so much. I felt greedy hoping for more. On one of these outings, an eagle flew right into viewfinder of the camera.

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Seriously, how could I desire more with the beauty that already surrounds where I live?!

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This is a 2 minute (if that) walk from my front door.

pmgudo2xTTmz2vElQEFsAgfullsizeoutput_1af2But, that is human nature though, isn’t it? We struggle with desire versus contentment. Learning to be content is the key to true happiness. I continued to walk out to the water and desire more.

fullsizeoutput_1b56And then it happened.

The Universe not only winked, it wrapped me up in the best fluffy-sweater, cozy-warm, first-cup-of-coffee-in-the-morning, sun-beaming bear hug. Turns out that sobbing uncontrollably while playing photographer is as hard and awkward as it sounds! Wiping tears off of the view finder while whispering prayers of thanksgiving for such gifts that are not deserved-yet bestowed with flair and grandeur-the camera click-clicked away attempting to capture one of the most breathtaking moments.

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Incredibly close to shore! And directly in front of my shore-front driftwood seat!

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Heeeeeeyyyyy!

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fullsizeoutput_1b70Not only did I witness a whale, but TWO whales. Oh Universe, you are so extra and I ADORE YOU!

Thank you isn’t enough. But it is what I have.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

❤️