Signposts

If you are a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, you would see little scallop shells on signs along the way. Painted yellow or blue, these markers let the pilgrims know that they are on the right path, that these roads have been walked before, and that there is provision along the way.

When you go hiking on a blazed trail, there are markers, usually on trees, letting you know which trail you are on, and encourages you to keep walking to the next marker.

The Israelites, in their pilgrimage through the wilderness, also had markers and signs to lead the way and let them know that God was with them on the path. A cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night, manna from heaven for making daily bread, quail in the morning, water from a rock…on and on, they received signposts from God, provision for the journey. And still they struggled to find gratitude or rest in what had been provided.

I find myself to be just like an Israelite, impaired by my shortsightedness and in need of seeing the daily signposts that God is with me, and that He has provided what I need. This discipline of drawing ordinary things through Lent is reminding me that these small things are indeed signposts along the ordinary path…small bread crumbs leading me home…tiny lamps to light the way.

There are birds providing a song of joy, chairs inviting me to take respite from the daily grind, socks to warm my tired feet, mugs, cups and coffee makers for soothing drink, and yes, a lamp for light in the darkness. Such simple things, but all necessary for a pilgrim’s walk through life.

I want to keep drawing, and so to somehow be drawn into gratitude and to rest in the provision of these daily, ordinary gifts. I hope you are finding this too!

Buen Camino friends!

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Catching the Light

CatchtheLight1

I tried to catch it. Grab it by the tail or the torso and pin it down to my paper so as to remember it. To revel in the beauty of watching the sun kiss the trees, bushes, yards behind our home. I was just sitting there in quiet, listening and watching the light show.

In a flurry of activity, I grab my pastel box, towel, and board with paper on it. Quick! Get down the golden light in all the places it is glowing right now, build the areas around it- bushes, driveway, tree, house, etc. Oh my…look at that, it’s now creeping over more of those bushes, seeping through the limbs of that tree!

I work rather furiously but with pointed attention and deliberateness. Almost every half a minute, the scene before me is changing. What began as gold in some areas, has diffused to a mint color as it lay over dew laden grass. I couldn’t reflect all these changes in my sketch. I just had to let the light go on its merry way while I added a few more touches to the quick sketch. It doesn’t need to be resolved. It is only a record of a fleeting moment of joy as light invaded the morning. Even now, at this moment of writing in my journal, I’d love to draw for you the sparkling display of shadows now strong and beautiful in morning’s light. I ache with the desire to hold it all, to freeze frame it, to say STOP for a second so I can get all this down, ingest all the beauty, so it comes out my fingers and toes, transforming me from within! But the light marches on and I’m left to try again another day…or later today…to catch in a jar, as it were, a golden moment of simple living.

CatchtheLight2

I am aware through all of this, that I’m watching a picture of life. Light and beauty is ever-changing, evolving, morphing with every second and every hour and as I walk throughout my pilgrim days I feel its ever-changing glow and the ache of not being able to fully take it all in.  My calling is to catch as many of these moments of light as I can and pin/pen them to paper. Record their glow. Trace the contours of where light meets dark.

I’m headed out for a Monday morning walk now. Ready to just soak in more of this morning’s light and let it take me into the day and on into evening… glowing, ever-changing, morphing from gold to mint to so many other colors I will note along the way.

You come too!

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I’m going out to clean the pasture spring;
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan’t be gone long. — You come too.

I’m going out to fetch the little calf
That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan’t be gone long. — You come too.

-Robert Frost

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Walk in the Light!

jenniferedwards.com

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Artist Note: Sometimes, when we sketch/draw/paint totally in the moment, quickly, without much thought, letting our fingers just react and respond with color on paper, we may look at what we have done afterwards with disappointment. As I brought this sketch indoors, the pastel colors appeared dark and the overall look was…well…quite sketchy. But when I turned the light on my drawing table, there it was…that light I was so captivated by. There was the scene, perhaps not exact in its representation but at least enough for me to remember it by. This is what we are after as we draw our lives. Drawcumenting your life is not about creating masterpieces of art, but rather attempting to catch an essence, a hint of what captivated us in the moment.

Keep walking and drawing, dear fellow pilgrim.