I have been creating with yarn almost my whole life. I can remember 1984 when my grandma came to visit for the holidays. She taught me that winter how to make my very first winter hat. Of course hers looked incredible while mine was un even, but it was my first creation and I have never looked back since then. One of the many things I love about art is how closely it resembles life. For example, how often does life go exactly the way you planned? For me art pieces are similar. Along the way there are both expected and unexpected bumps along the road.
It is these hurdles, these difficult times, these knots that pop up in the middle of your project or in the middle of your life that help shape who you are and who you will become. For me one of the most difficult seasons on my life was when my brother, mom, and then sister, and died within a 3 year time frame. My father was the only person who remained from my family of origin. As fate would have it, he was the same man who was an alcoholic and oblivious to the decades of pain he had caused my entire family.
In the midst of this knot, in the midst of this pain, I learned JOY. It is easy to be joyful when everything is going my way, but it is much harder to be filled with joy when life knocks you out. It was during this season that much of my art was completed in grays, black, and whites. The vibrant color of my life had been knocked out of my soul.
Now, I am in a very different season of life. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my family every day. I still cry from time to time when I think about them. But the over arching theme of my life is joy. Joy because, I have another day to live, another day to breathe, another day to experience the loved ones that ares till here with me.
My art work has since taken off and I make more money on one piece of art than I used to make in a years worth of work in the past. But it isn’t about the money, it is about the impact and the lives I get to influence as a result of my success.
Last week I had a major water link in my yard. Apparently one of the pipes that ran underneath my lawn had cracked and so every time the sprinklers where supposed to turn on water just ran out of the pipe and flooded my yard. I called Mj’s lawn care, a local lawn care services to come over and fix the problem. The crew was professional and it was a hot day, so I offered them water. At first they declined the offer. Another hour went by and so I offered them again, and they shyly accepted the cups of water. As I spoke with them, they told me I was only the 3rd person to ever offer them water when working. Now I don’t expect people to provide food and water for vendors servicing their home, but it reminded me the influence we can have with a genuine smile and a simple act of kindness.
For me, it was these acts of kindness that brought me out of the gray seasons of life and more consistently into a vibrant life.