Saturday, December 1, 2012

From Deprived To Rewarded

Sigh…I missed the beach this week!  Between volunteering at school, preparing for participation in today’s Holiday Open Studio at Bella’s Studio in Monterey and rainy weather, I didn’t fit a beach walk into this week’s schedule.  As you may know from past posts, I’ve been trying to visit my favorite place to unwind at least once each week, and without that visit, I usually feel a bit deprived.  I’m reminding myself tonight that my reasons for not visiting the beach this week offered their own set of rewards.  Considering those rewards, I really wasn’t deprived after all! 

On Monday, I met with each of the three third grade classes at our daughter’s elementary school for which I am an art docent for a program called “Picture of the Month.”  Classes learn about different periods of art and a variety of artists, and lessons and discussions center around a print of a work of art which remains in their classroom during the month ahead for further observation and contemplation.  This is my third year participating in this valuable program, and every month when I meet with the children, I feel excitement as they express enthusiasm about art and hopeful that perhaps I’m helping them to build a long lasting appreciation for art.  At the same time, I’ve been expanding my own knowledge about art history as I study and prepare for these monthly lessons and discussions.  This month we focused on 19th century American art and Winslow Homer.  Homer was a realist and a naturalist, and some of the children noticed the realistic quality of the scenes in his paintings even before I mentioned this was his signature style.  What an amazing experience to interact with young children who are so observant and insightful!  At the end of each session, the teachers typically remind the children to thank me, and I, in turn, end up thanking them for participating and sharing their observations.

Despite a very busy schedule of preparation and feeling exhaustion afterward, I am so very grateful to my friend and mentor, Bella Lofaso Brancato, owner of the beautiful sewing and creative center, Bella’s Studio in Monterey, for inviting me to be part of her Holiday Open Studio today.  The day was filled with a steady flow of friends and new faces, and I enjoyed connecting with local fellow artisans and reflecting on how often I am now offered the wonderful opportunity to interact with an ever widening circle of kindred creative spirits.  These interactions are inspiring and invigorating to one’s soul!  Although my progress continues to move forward in baby steps, and my achievements are modest, I feel a tremendous amount of fulfillment and gratitude, especially on days like today when I realize my “back burner” dream has now moved to the forefront in my life.

Tonight I feel hopeful in the short term for a return to the beach soon and in the long term for a future shining brighter and brighter…