Two years ago this month the world stood still. I know we are feeling all the feels, as the anniversary of the Covid lockdown approaches. So many emotions. So many memories of how we filled those weeks that turned to months.
I remember distinctly feeling, after our family had watched all the things on Netflix, and put together every puzzle in the house, that cabin fever feeling I tend to get every February, living in snowy Iowa. Only this was ten times more intense. It felt like it would never end. It felt scary and a bit hopeless. And there was a brief time period of wondering if we would ever get through this. So of course, I found the biggest canvas I had on hand and applied some paint therapy to the situation. The painting above is the result of that time period. This is the story of it's creation.
A lot of time is spent standing before a canvas in the process of creating a piece. That time leaves lots of space for my mind to work through issues - both of the painting and of life in general. I remember distinctly struggling, through this painting, during the pandemic lockdown, with such overwhelming thoughts. I missed our old life. I wondered if things would ever return to normal. I struggled with fear of this horrible sickness. Yet, I also felt frustrated with the politicalization I saw of the situation. I worried for my kids and grandkids' futures. I missed people. I missed people so very much. It felt overwhelming. It felt imprisoning. It felt dark.
But the things is, in the midst of this strange world we all found ourselves in, it was Spring, and the grass was still turning green, the buds were forming on trees, and the flowers were beginning to bloom. This constant brought me a lot of comfort, because it is a reminder to me that the God who made all of nature was still there and still an unchanging anchor for our souls.
I found myself returning to again and again to Psalm 46,during this time - a reminder that:
“ God is our refuge and our strength
A very present help in times of trouble
Therefore, I will not fear,
Though the earth should change,
Though the mountains slip into the sea....
Be still and know that I am God
And I will be exalted in the earth.”
I sought the help of those who follow me on social media, in naming this piece. I laid out the thoughts and ideas that were behind the painting and asked for suggestions. Someone came up with the name, "Still Blooming" and I knew it hit the nail on the head. This is a painting that brings renewed hope every time I look at it, remembering the beauty that emerged from the dark time of 2020.
"Still Blooming" is a 48x48 oil painting on wrap around canvas and is available here