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Creative Compassionate Connection

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

A year ago my step-mom passed away at a fairly young age. Her health and cognitive ability had been slowly declining for a number of years. It was a bad fall that she had one night that led to her being in a nursing home during the height of the pandemic. She endured the isolation of covid lockdowns, and even had covid at one point, on top of recovering from her injuries. Then dementia began to take the drivers seat.

That experience provided my growing awareness of how sidelined and lonely people in nursing homes can feel. Last Christmas I found great joy in creating Christmas cards for the residents of the home where my daughter-in-law had gotten a job as activities director.

2021 and 2022 have been an exploration of my own sense of purpose regarding my artwork. When covid scared us into hiding in 2020 I used the opportunity to start making greeting cards for my grandchildren. I started out by making cards from whatever my imagination could find to use. Eventually, over time, I invested a little here and there on supplies like card stock and paint pens and watercolor pencils, etc. Rather than spending money I didn't have on embossing or die-cut machines I found ways to create embellishments and interesting textures with what I had on hand. It's been so much fun to discover how to make something out of nothing. I even used an unusually sturdy cardboard box that supplies came in to make my granddaughter a dollhouse!

I wrestled quite a bit with whether I should attempt to go into business selling my artwork. I paint in acrylic and came up with an idea for a sculpted canvas painting while I was working on the doll house.

Cosmic Embrace measures about 4.5ft tall and 3.5ft wide.

So many ideas!

But after the feedback from the Christmas cards and sitting down again to make Valentines I knew where my heart was! That was when Wildflowers Of Grace began to take shape and I decided to expand my goal to reach 100 people with Christmas cards this year. I'm working a physically taxing job now, just as I turn 60, so the endless hours of creativity have come to an end...and when I get home I'm already spent. But I still think I can accomplish my goal! Particularly with the right supplies. I will give it my all at any rate and be grateful for whatever I can give.

In the end it's about the creative compassionate connection we have a chance to share with people all around us. I am reminded of the prayer of St. Francis, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace..." Let us bloom as wildflowers of grace along the highways and byways and fence lines that divide us.

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