Saturday, November 29, 2014

Root Bound No More - Space Clearing for the Soul

When the seasons arrive, each have their own special meanings in our hearts. They conjure up memories, urge us to look at the past and the present, and prepare us for different phases of our growth. When Fall arrives I feel myself go into a "nesting" mode, instinctively getting ready for the Winter's "inward" time. It prompts us to do a Fall cleaning, or Space Clearing if you will...a cleansing of the prior activity and get our house ready for our  journey of quiet contemplation.
This Fall, as all the others for the past several decades, I began my space clearing. This time though I was adamant that I needed to work with my plants as well. I decided that certain ones were going to be pulled up from the ground and potted to be brought indoors, and others were going to be re-potted into larger containers. 
I set up my garden table on the deck and worked first on all of the herbs I was going to have in my Winter's kitchen garden. Then I decided to create some new sacredness for my indoor plants, giving them an opportunity to grow in new ways. I foraged through my many planters, choosing just the right ones for each plant, cleansing and prepping them, then started filling them with rich organic soil - healthy surroundings just as our own spirits need in order to flourish.
My peace lilies, patchouli, sage, philodendron, and zebra plants were ready to be transformed. I was in a sense shocked when I began releasing them from their old residences...finding that their root systems were bound so tightly that they couldn't even creep their way out of the drainage holes on the bottoms of the pots. I softly loosed their roots and dusted the old impacted soil away and I could almost hear a sigh of relief......"Ahhhhh I can Breathe". 

I continued this process with each of the plants, saddened that I had waited so long to help in their growth. As my hands gingerly worked with their life source, I began thinking of the process on a spiritual and philosophical level in relation to our own lives. I thought about how we as humans so often put our own needs aside and procrastinate on doing the things we need for ourselves to flourish and grow. I thought about how this little bit of meaningful time can have such a long lasting impact on our own personal growth. I reminded myself that I needed to be sure that I put my own needs first on my priority list, and how my not having done so may have prevented my own spirit from evolving  to higher levels. 
I made a promise to myself that I would ensure that I always had enough room to grow, and to make sure that there was always time and space available for the exploration of my soul.
These events on this cool breezy Fall afternoon inspired my new painting, "Root Bound No More".

The painting  brings the Tree of Life forward in a symbolic tone, portraying Personal Growth that allows one to overcome challenges, reaching out of the conforming self limits that we sometimes place on ourselves.
The canvas was textured with a Golden product medium, swirled in a large circle and painted deep rich colors of burnt umber, brown, and burnt sienna, to be symbolic for the self created limits we put on ourselves. The Tree was painted rising through the circle, its swirls of roots reaching not only below but above those "self limits", allowing it to grow beyond its wildest dreams. An abundance of small detail work was done in the many leaves of the tree, as new and vital growth. 
If you are interested in the painting you can see more of it in its listing on Etsy here

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Selugadu Festival 2014

Last weekend was the annual Selugadu Festival, a Native American celebration, at the Hagood Mill Historic Site. This has been a special event we attend every year, not only because of the theme itself, but because of the relationships. It's a time when we get to see many of our friends (artist, dancers, drummers, and demonstrators) although it's even more special when we get to see the people that come to visit us year after year that often we don't get to see otherwise. 

This particular time it was bittersweet, being the first Selugadu without the presence of Ed Bolt, long time curator of the Hagood Mill site. Ed was like the Father overseeing the family at the Mill. He was the glue that held it together, and that kept a relaxed and homey feel to the space that made me as a demonstrator never feel like it was "work" but a family get-together. He worked hard creating this family and was always a man that was respected and endeared. 
Since Ed's passing, the Mill is still in operation...evolving into what it now will be. The things that need to be done are done and it will continue to grow. I do miss that family feel, but as in life we all grow and change, and a new family will be created.

This year many of the dancers and storytellers were new to the Mill. The Nu Nu Hi Warriors (Immortal Warriors) representing the Eastern Band Cherokee came and offered the main event performance, along with the "Order of the Arrow" dance team and the "Keepers of the Word" drumming group. 

Flute playing, storytelling, blow-gun demonstrating, and basket making filled the day, while at the same time the Gristmill was turning grinding cornmeal and flour. But I have to say that the one thing, my favorite thing, that speaks to my Spirit are the Horses.
The Dan Buckheister  family and the Twelve Mile Indian Horse Association were present with their Spanish Colonial Horses. (Their horses are descendants of the first horses brought to this continent by the Spanish)

The children are allowed to paint their hand prints on the horses throughout the day.
Visiting the horses is a must for me. It is the one thing throughout the day that speaks to my spirit so deeply and authentically. Stroking their mane and looking in their eyes, brings such a strong connection with this animal, that just emanates freedom and riding the wind.  
Even though events, families, and life changes.....Spirit always remains the same.

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