(The far edge of Gooseberry Island, Westport, MA)
In the little seaside town of Padanaram in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, black ducks often gather at the edge of the inlet where boats are moored in the summer. In the fall all, or almost all, the boats leave as do the summer people. But the black ducks remain.
I remember a conversation I had along the shoreline years ago during which my walking companion said he felt sorry for the ducks seemingly stuck in that little inlet. Padanaram is a beautiful village and great place to live if you are a person, or a duck. (I lived there for about eight years.) But I did understood his comment. The ducks were not traveling or seeing the world as some birds or people do. They were living what might appear to be a small life. My immediate thought, however, was that they were doing exactly what they were created to do, exactly where they found themselves. Therefore, I felt pretty sure that they were content.
A few weeks ago, I lost the means for good part of my income - somewhere between a third and a half. Historically, this is not a new situation for me. As an adult, I have never had stability under my feet, and because of that I have never really expected it. Still, I am finding it very hard not to feel anxious and look for other plans. Thankfully, I am do not live alone and have support. And if I am feeling very weary, I have the memory of my daughter's sweet voice, when the two of us lived on our own, reminding me, "You will figure it out, Mom. You always do!"
Space is good for figuring things out and walking is great for perspective. So I walked the length of Westport's Gooseberry Island a few days ago. It was a magical day, as it always is on this spit of land that juts out into the Atlantic. The rosa rugosa's were busy creating what seemed like an inordinate amount of rose hips this year. A small group (or kettle) of hawks were riding very low thermals just above the tall bayberry bushes. And I found a new spot between the dunes and the strandline filled with sea peas. So many gifts for the senses! As I walked, I became less anxious and felt completely supported at that place, at that time, contemplating my life and work.
At the end of Gooseberry Island, the path gets smaller and much more intimate. (See above) It is on that kind of path that I feel completely confident and content. The path welcomes me, shows itself to me, and supports me. It tells me THIS is where I should be. THIS is what I should be doing. I was made to be an artist, to pay attention, to see things and share the gifts of nature. I was made to trust. I feel that I, like the ducks, am doing exactly what I am created to do with my art and eco-art wellness work.
If you, like me, are searching for clarity, here is my advice. Go outside to get some space. Walk. Contemplate. Trust in the gifts that you have been given. Trust in the changing seasons of nature and life. We are all the same. We can do this together.
A unique opportunity is coming! I will be showing and selling my ORIGINAL pencil drawings this weekend at The Warren Arts Festival / Warren Quahog Festival, September 24 and 25 at Burr's Hill Park, Water Street, Warren, RI from (Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM / Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM) If you would like to see my original work, please come by. I will also have some giclee prints and photographs.
If you enjoyed this posting, please forward to a friend! Thanks so much for your support!