Mary Madalene, Our Lady of Spring
Every year, I paint a Mary Magdalene especially for the Mary Magdalene Celebration invitation. I have titled's this year's piece, Mary Magdalene, Our Lady of Spring. It is an oil on canvas, 8" x 10", completed yesterday. This is a cell phone image of the painting, so the colors are more red than the original. But as a way to initiate the process of creating the event, I decided to share before waiting for the painting to dry.
This past Winter felt so long. The days were so dark. The routine was so intense. The first days of Spring were a gift, and now that daylight arrives by the time I leave my home in the morning, the days within are much brighter. I feel Spring within.
I have been thinking a lot about the lesson of the past years. It's been 5 years since my life as I knew it ended, and something new, and very different and difficult, began. Sometimes, often, it has felt as a punishment. I could perceive that there was a lesson for me in the process. That descending implies making yourself rise again, with more strength.
Little by little I have begun to understand. Five years of full time work in school programs have truly felt like a descent, while at the same time, this time has strengthened me, made me learn, made me recognize strengths I did not know I had. It has also made me realize the Grace I have lived in most of my life.
I aspire to recover the aspects of my life that made me feel glorious, mostly freedom of movement and time. But I also recognize that I have been given an opportunity to serve that involves applying the lessons every aspect of my past life in service of other human beings.
I am now at a point and a place where I am starting to feel a growth, a blossoming, a new spring of being.
As I circle back to my own destiny (that sounds so grand I need to write it!) I want to celebrate the newly sprouted seeds: I painted this little painting in my tiny space that I call "Art Studio" within my bedroom.
I am learning how someone who longs for a change can make it happen.
The way I see it:
The first part of my journey was illness and recovery: finding freedom, living in grace, fully blossoming into my best self.
But this was an exceptional lesson.
Most people live a type of creative Winter. People wake up, go to work, clean their houses, eat their meals, keep their commitments, give everything to a pre-ordained day where routine is the main sustenance. I didn't want to... but I needed to remember, to understand again what people live every day, in order to serve better. I have been living this way in the second part.
But the world has changed. Our souls have evolved. That life, while accepted and supposedly desired, is no longer adequate. How do we make life grace-ful?
The slow path, the one I ended up taking, is as follows: Cultivate, in small ways, the seeds of your own future. Leave behind what does not serve your purpose. Take another step toward a dream. While not there yet, find moments to feel how you aspire to feel every day. Moment by moment, build a future. Let grace regrow as if it were Spring after a long Winter.
Dear St. Mary Magdalene, thank you for the inspiration you bring into our lives. Thank you for your presence and company. Thank you for so much red-full energy. Thank you for the moments of glory available each day to remember a grace-ful future. Thank you for so many flowers in our path. Thank you for the green contrasts and for the lessons that build our core.