My morning practice doesn't just happen. It has to be prepared... a way must be made.
Tomorrow morning when I awaken there will be fresh paper, clean water and brushes, and six brand new colors waiting to strut their stuff carefully arranged in my studio. I'm not even sure I'll be able to sleep knowing what's waiting there
Everything changes in a sometimes sneaky way.
My mother used to lay out my clothes.
Now, I lay out my paints and think of her.
This life is new, even as it grows old.
Days before my husband and I moved more than one thousand miles away to south Georgia, leaving our young adult sons to hold down the fort in Pennsylvania and step into their lives, my Mom scolded Dad for warning me I would not even believe how much I was going to miss them.
"Don't tell her THAT," Mom said, giving him a look that stopped him flat. "You know," she turned to me. knowing full well what it felt like to be far away from your own children, "Everyone said I was going to be miserable in an empty nest," She paused, smirked and patted my hand. "I'm still waiting."
We all laughed and although my dad looked shocked, I felt so comforted by her confession. The truth of the matter was I was kind of looking forward to discovering who we all are on our own, to watching our sons blossom as we got out of their way and they learned to take care of their own lives, and to seeing who I am without my hallmark kneejerk caretaking and constant planning. It was not an easy adjustment, but it was necessary.
Yes, I miss my boys so much it hurts. I can feel it deep inside.
But, that's not all there is. Surprisingly, I am also not miserable. Mostly.
There is joy. Often.
It makes me happy that Mom had time to discover things she wanted to do and then do them - to travel with Dad - to meet new friends - and especially, to develop her art. At times I mourn the fact that I never really discovered watercolor while she was still here to share it with me. I could have learned so much from her.
But that's not all there is. Surprisingly I am, in many ways, meeting my mother for the first time in the paints. This is such a gift.
Good night. Sleep tight. I will try to stay in bed 'til the morning light... but oh those paints are already giggling in the pallet.