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Archive for the ‘Vitamins for body and soul’ Category

NOTE:  I’ve finally updated my “Paintings and Poems” page on this site.

Nearly every week I read over the back pages of my blogs, where the stats are listed.  On these pages I learn which entries were most frequently read, the search terms used to arrive at my blogs, the number of viewers each day and week, etc.  The stats have been encouraging, and Northern Reflections is far ahead of my other blogs in numbers of readers. 

Consistently, the most widely read entries on Northern Reflections are those which focus on home—especially the creative home arts:  decorating, entertaining, gardens, hobbies and crafts, collecting, junking, antiquing, etc.  I find the popularity of the home arts to be heartwarming, since my heart is and always has been at home!  Evidently many others share my enthusiasm for creating a lovely, nurturing environment for those we love.

A passion for beauty and the hunger to create with one’s hands are universal traits, found in people around the world.  Gardens are universal—from Japan to England and most places in between—not just for food production but for flowers and ornamental trees and shrubs.  Crafting is universal, not only for making useful things but for creating objects of beauty as well—les objets d’art.  A case in point is the fact of stunning decoration found on common untensils made in primitive cultures.

A love for color and design is universal.  God delivered a magnificent WOW when He created Heaven and earth and all that is within.  The drive to replicate color and design in our surroundings (and on our bodies!) is integral to our humanity.  Made in the image of a Creative Maker, we humans are happiest when we can make or do something beautiful—even some little thing like sticking snapdragons and daisies in a jar with water to brighten our day, playing a favorite melody on an instrument, or baking a cake for someone we love.

I’m frequently reminded of the creative drive in myself and in others.  I never go anywhere that involves sitting and waiting without bringing my knitting.  Joe and I have many clinic appointments each week, and the knitting bag goes along.  Constantly, I meet men, women, and children who are drawn to my side by the siren’s call of clicking knitting needles.  I hear wistful, nostalgic overtones in the conversations which ensue.  People say, “My grandmother did that; I wish I could learn!”

I always answer, “But you can learn!”  Then I mention yarn shops that I know of, little havens of relaxation and instruction, plus helpful websites where one can learn to knit.  I’m currently knitting a winter hat for each of our 15 great-grandchildren, for next Christmas.  I’m now on hat number 13, and I carry a few of the hats in my bag for people to see and feel.  Occasionally a fellow knitter will sit down beside me, and then I can glean from another lover of needles and a good yarn!

There are so many options for creativity, most of which can be explored within the boundaries of kitchen, living room, home studio, basement, garage, or yard.  Once a person gets over the roadblock of worrying about being “good enough” at a hobby or skill, the sky is the limit—very literally for me , as I keep striving to paint the sky!  Of course my renderings are not great art, but they are colorful and satisfying to me.  Unless we are training to be a professional, we should never focus on being “good enough”—but rather on having fun, discovering, and forging a new path in our passion to create. 

I realize that generalities are leaky, but here is one that has proven true again and again:  a person who loves to make things is most often a serene person regardless of circumstances.  Individuals who find joy in creating tend to prevail during the hardest of trials.  The contemplative process of producing a batch of cookies, quilting a table runner, or making most anything affords us thinking time in which our minds are cleared.  Hand work provides an atmosphere for prayer.  We come away from the creative process stronger and more able to deal with the issues in our lives. 

Obviously peace of mind and contentment are gifts from our Lord, freely given when we know Him and prayerfully read His Word.  But God has created us to be earth creatures at this point in time.  He has given us an abundant earth where we can reflect His creative life.  For our good and His glory God has given us a passion for making things.  These are the things that sustain!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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Yesterday brought a near Heaven experience.  For the first time since mid November, I sat in the sun. 

While our front door and patio face due east, with park and woods for a view, our garage door faces south and overlooks the condos across the way.  With the garage door down, as a wonderful backdrop to reflect the sun, I sat–bundled for winter–in the sunshine for 30 some minutes, absorbing vitamin D and sketching the condo across the way. 

The above rendering is what I saw with eyes and mind, while sketching.  The building is fairly representative–and it’s identical to the one in which we live.  I dinked around with the color later, when I painted the sketch.  Our buildings are a soft rosey-beige with red brick.  But I go hog wild on color, so there it is.

Years ago, my mother warned me about my penchant for sun bathing.  “You’ll get skin cancer,” she said.  That was in the mid 1940s.  My brilliant mother may have been the only person outside of the scientific community, who knew about the dangers of ultra violet overdose. 

Skin cancer I have had–numerous basal cells and one scary melanoma, fortunately caught while it was only on the surface of my leg.  Yet the benefits of sitting in the sun outweigh the threats, for me.  In all of life, we pick our battles.  Sun screen carries it’s own dangers.  My answer to the negative sun hype is, as the English say, “Pah!”  I know these old bones need vitamin D!

Reflecting on sun, I recall lines from a poignant (1960s-70s) ballad, Seasons in the Sun, by Terry Jacks:  “We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun–but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time.”

It has occurred to me that there are no “seasons out of time”, for one who loves the Lord Jesus, and loves life!  We have some glorious seasons, and some cold, dark months.  We have times where life flows seamlessly, and other times when circumstances do not provide “joy” or “fun”. 

But the sun is always up there, waiting to shine on us with all it’s strength.  And most important of all, the SON is with us even when we cannot see the sun or feel its healing warmth.

Here’s to a hearty dose of vitamin D–for body and soul!  🙂

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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