Saturday, February 28, 2015

Painting the afternoon away...


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Home is Where the Heart is.


Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend an entire afternoon running errands and painting with my sister. We explored the craft store shelves and she envisioned transforming three small canvases into a trio of sky art while I envisioned filling a large canvas with a heart shaped city. I was drawn to the acrylic paints and splurged by purchasing all of the colors that spoke to me.

As we went to the checkout and paid for our items, I was reminded how much life has changed. We both have paychecks and buy our own art supplies now. Yet, it wasn't so very long ago that we were little girls running through the backyard until the sun drifted to the edge of the sky. It wasn't so long ago that we dropped dimes into the offering bowls at church because that was ten percent of our allowance. In some ways it feels like just yesterday that $5 made us feel rich as we skipped through the dollar store aisles. Now,  more than $5 can easily be spent on a single bottle of paint. We aren't little girls anymore.

As we sat in the kitchen and began to set up our supplies and prep to paint I smiled at the way the sunlight highlighted Dana's beautiful hair. I thought about the whispers she hears from the little girls each night she works at the local restaurant where she cleans and serves the customers.

"Look, Mommy! She has princess hair." the little girls often whisper to their mothers across the table.

It is true. My sister has beautiful princess hair that cascades down her back in gentle waves. She also has artistic hands that weave it into the most graceful braids. Graceful. She is so very graceful. She is graceful as she diligently scrubs the tables clean at work each night and greets the customers with a smile. She is graceful as she sits and devours book after book in the mornings as the sun glows through the living room curtains. She is graceful as she drives me to campus a few mornings each week and as she takes time to tidy her side of the room.

As we spent time painting together I was reminded of her graceful beauty as she sat painting in the afternoon sun. Her eyes sparkled with the joy of creativity as she brought her vision to life on the canvas.

We did not speak very much as we painted. Instead we let music dance around our brushstrokes and eventually we let happy silence whisper to our creative hearts. We painted, we were together, and we were joyfully living in that simple moment.

I need to finish touching up the messy bits of my painting and Dana is still creating her third piece, but I am so thankful for that beautiful time we spent together and painting the afternoon away. I am so thankful for my creative, graceful, intelligent, and kind sister. I cherish the time I spend with her.


Simply,
Sarah

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Ice-Day...

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Ice Flowers


Today is an ice day. I received notification from the college that the campus is closed for the day and I smiled realizing that would mean I could venture out into the cold and take time to photograph some of the beautiful aspects of the ice and sleet.

The ice and sleet is inconvenient for a lot of people today, but I am enjoying seeing the world dressed up in winter. There is such beauty in the sight of little purple weeds cloaked in ice. The sleet patterns are intricately formed as it comes to rest on the car windshield. The world is also extra quiet with most everyone staying indoors and the cars sitting still in the driveways. As I walk around and hear the crunch beneath my feet I smile. It is truly a beautiful ice-day.

Simply,
Sarah

Monday, February 16, 2015

Little details...

January Plant

Life is full of little details and little moments that are so easy to miss.

My schedule is crazy these days, but I am trying to take time to slow down, to notice details, and stay engaged with the world beyond work and college courses. Some days I do this well and other days I do not, but I am learning.

What details in life have you taken the time to notice today?

May you have a Magnificent Monday!

Simply,
Sarah

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hello, February...

Love

Dear February,

You seem to always be the month of reds and pinks. Well, at least in my part of the world. When you arrive the world is filled with hearts and Cupid's arrows. Then, after your 14th day, the world is filled with discounted chocolate and teddy-bears that say, "I love you."

Some years I've despised you for bringing Valentine's Day along. Some years I haven't really cared. Some years I've been giddy about your arrival. This year I am thankful. I am single and the happiest I've ever been to be so. Sure, when I make a connection with someone I explore it, but I wake up smiling even without an "in a relationship" status. Someday I hope that you will arrive and I will have a wonderful life partner by my side. Yet, in the mean time, I don't feel sad. I'm thankful.

There is so much love in my life that I can't help but smile. I smile when you arrive with the swirling hearts and romantic cards. I smile. I smile for the couple sitting in the coffee shop. Their hands are wrinkled, but they still press them together and gaze into each other's eyes. Only they know all the good and bad they've walked through. I smile for my parents who show love on more than a single holiday a year. They love through the highs, the lows, and the seemingly ordinary. I smile for the love of my friends with their spouses and the love they already have so strongly for the little lives that are growing inside of their wombs. I smile for the love between my brothers, sister and I. And, I smile for the way my friends still love me even when we see each other rarely. I smile for the love of my parents and the ways they've taught me to love others. I smile for the love of God. I smile for the hope I have. I'm not perfect, life is filled with messiness and so many hard things that I do not understand, but life is also filled with love. I don't think I will ever fully understand love, but love is real.

Yes, as you arrive, I smile for the abundance of love in my life.

So, February, you've arrived. I sit here writing this letter with a pile of handmade notes by my side. They are just waiting to take flight and hopefully bring a smile to some of the ones I love. Because, when you arrive, I think of so much more than just romantic love.

Thank you, February. You've taught me a lot of lessons over the years. Today I sit and give thanks. I give thanks for love.

Simply,
Sarah