Like much of the country and all of Minnesota, Minneapolis has just come out of way too many days of seriously below-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills. But days of enforced indoor time surprised me; unlike my pre-retirement days, I no longer felt the heavy sense of ennui that would leave me feeling fatigued shortly after I awoke. Maybe it’s that my time is no longer regulated by a teacher’s schedules of bells and lesson plans. Perhaps it’s that I no longer have to worry about a long commute through icy streets and highway.
Whatever the reason, I do know that back in those days, there was no way I would have found beauty in an isolated image of rose hips.
Now, in my calm, low stress, peaceful world, I often find myself gazing out a window at the drifts of snow that cover all but a small path to my garage. I think about the tulip and allium bulbs I planted in November. I think about the strawberry plants, the sweet Nancy, the daffodils. The lyricist's cliche speaks true: “covered and snug in their wintry blanket….”
And then I realize that what has changed isn’t the winter weather; it’s me. I now see beauty of potential where I used to see irritation.
When I found a spray of wild rose hips at my local garden shop, I knew I had to paint it; that spray…so filled with potential for summer…seemed to say a lot about how I view the world these days.