Morning Magic

A hushed reverie fills my imagination and studio twice a day. Early morning and late afternoon are becoming favorite times to sit here in my sunroom studio and look out the picture windows at the magical light show over the neighborhood. The mornings are filled with Christmas piano playing softly on Pandora. I feed on poetry and an Advent devotion as I sip my peppermint mocha creamed coffee. The slowly lighten-ing sky displays subtle shifts in glorious color and neighbors’ Blinky lights pulse in rhythm with the music. I sit and watch and let it fill me to the brim.

I find myself waking up early each morning in anticipation of all this. I’m also stopping to enter it again in the afternoon, when the light show begins anew but in reverse. I spin wool during this time. I draw and write in the morning. I am grateful for this filling with wonder and anticipation of things to come, heaven only knows what. The Light reminds me that I am loved and cared for no matter what may happen in between the light shows of dawn and dusk. I want to be present to these magical moments. I’m drawn to them in a gentle and comforting way…like a golden thread has wrapped itself around me and is gently pulling me to these places of wonder, not unlike that golden thread Irene carries with her into the mines and which eventually leads her home to her great-great-grandmother. *

I have no other reason for writing of this other than to share it. To say to whoever is reading this how filled with gratitude I am that we are given bits of heaven in our otherwise gray day-to-day world. I feel an urgency in attending to these gifts, to not miss them. I can draw them, paint them, spin the golden wool into thread…but nothing is quite so grand as just sitting and watching and filling up with the wonder of these moments however they come to us.

May you find moments in your day for reverie and wonder, to feel the golden thread in your fingers leading you home.

*Reference to George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin.

Snow-capped Bales


Snow-capped Bales. Watercolor. 9″x12″.

Mr. Whicker had some hay bales dropped off on the wide end of his field up on Silver Dapple Lane. Seeing as how I LOVE hay bales, I just had to draw them with their snow hats on. As I walked in the freshly fallen snow last Wednesday, Mr. Whicker came down the lane in his blue tractor. He stopped to chat for a bit on his way to pick up one of the bales to take to his cows there in the field behind his barns. He said he hoped the cows like it. When I inquired about this, (not realizing that cows can be quite particular about their hay), he said he took some of this hay to cows of his on other land and they didn’t take to it right away. He’s hoping this group of cows will have a liking for it. I guess, cows get used to the same ole same ole, and actually prefer it to something new.

Unlike me, a new fresh bale of hay does NOT seem *magical* to cows.

**Both the above and the previously posted watercolor painting have been added to my Etsy Shoppe! 😉 **



Narnia My Backyard. Watercolor. 9″x12″

As the world outside my windows begins, ever so slowly, to be veiled in white, a sense of anticipation and longing fills the hours. Everyday tasks take on a not-so-everyday glow. A trip to the grocery store becomes an adventure. Laundry becomes lighthearted. Cooking simmers with unprecedented warmth…chili, cornbread, rice krispy treats. I waken early the next day to sigh out my windows–the hushed beauty of white beckoning me to walk in it. And as I walk, a word that pops into my head every time we have snow here in these parts, shows up as bright as the snowy landscape: MAGIC.

It is indeed *magic*, for me, every time it snows. I feel like a kid again. The predictable view out my windows is now transformed into something other worldly. Kids are out of school, and I, as a teacher, have a day off. Walking where I have walked so many days and years before seems like a whole new landscape, a different country even, a fresh clean world. Even if the white raiment is a bit see-through in spots, it still evokes magical lands like Narnia and Norway. My own childhood land of Boone, NC is recalled with great sentimentality. My memories only serve to heighten the *magic*.

I have, for many years, wondered what it would be like to be able to do my art full time: 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. To paint, draw, knit, crochet, write and illustrate children’s books, design knit & crochet patterns, sell paintings, etc. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have so much time spent doing what I love dearly? Wouldn’t it be, quite literally, *magic*?

Folks up north of here are likely NOT thinking *magic* when they look outside their windows. It is quite possible that for many of them, snow is a four letter word. When they look out their windows at yet another fresh snowfall, their Narnia has indeed become a winter that is never Christmas. They see more mounds of snow shoveling, more traffic problems to evade on the way to work, more worries about how to heat their home or whether the roof might fall in. I imagine they grow sick and tired of bundling up every time they just want to step outside their door. Concerns such as these, and many others I’m sure, bring different words to mind when they see snow.  Instead of *magic*, it may be *burden*, *weary*, *sick*, or *tired*.

I myself, remember winters growing up where we had so many snow days in a row (6 weeks to 3 months worth out of school sometimes) that we actually wanted to go back to school! Still having to do our homework (since they gave it to us over the local radio station), plus all the snow chores (shoveling the driveway, bringing in wood for the wood stove), and having to get along with our siblings, did indeed become a burden, even though memory has a way of pushing all that to the back shelf. Too much of a good thing is…well…too much!

Walking in the *magic* snow this morning, it struck me that perhaps this is why I still feel the *magic* when I paint or draw, knit or crochet. Maybe it is precisely because I am not able to do this full-time that it remains magical in my life.  After all these years of making things in and around a full life as wife, mother, and teacher, I still sense that *magic* when I sit down to draw lines or knit a few rows.  I wonder, if I did this full-time, if it would lose some of the *magic* just by the sheer volume of it. Perhaps (just perhaps:) it would all become wearying or tiresome if I spent hours and hours every day doing these things. I wonder. Someday, I’d like the opportunity to test it out.

But for now, I will revel in the moments here and there that I’m able to create. I’ll even rejoice in the anticipation and longing for time to create. I’ll be grateful for the *magic* of drawing, knitting, and snow.  I’ll smile at myself when I complain that I don’t have nearly enough of it! And when it does snow here in Kernersville, North Carolina, I’ll receive that as a day to create all day if I’d like…a whole entire day of *MAGIC*!