The last time I wrote to "ya'll" was at the end of February! (Practicing my Florida there.) The last coloring page I offered was in May (although I do have a new one in the works). The last time I painted? I'm not even sure because it's been so long! All I can say is this is my new norm because I got my JOMO working. No, that is not a typo (Muddy). JOMO is not particularly a new coin of phrase but for those of you unfamiliar, JOMO is the Joy Of Missing Out. There's the Fear Of Missing Out — FOMO — and then there's JOMO. I hope to step back from all social hype (because I don't suffer from FOMO), and retreat to the woods to find my JOMO.
What do I hope to find? Freedom. A new, lighter tread. Creativity without walls or judgement. My inner world. Inspiration in nature. New perspective. Vision. New connections to the astral plane ...
My paints are packed in a box, more of a tote. They usually are and I bring this tote with me back and forth, North and South, and each time I used to plein air paint. The tote sits at camp at the ready. I am waiting on a new, portable easel that weighs in at 4 something pounds but that can fold flat so I can work in watercolor, but I also want to experiment more with acrylics and oil pastels. The easel will provide me with a surface to paint on that can be moved out of the way which is very much a component of small space living.
The catalyst spurring my retreat is selling the house and along with it, the Violet Fern Garden. If you're local and you visited me over Memorial Day weekend you may have heard me exclaim that the house/garden were sold already. And it was right up to when the financial details fell apart. But here we are again and it looks like the financial details, and all other details, are staying together until mid August when the whole lot of it becomes officially "no longer mine." When that happens I hand over the keys and move into the woods never to be seen again ... well, almost. Internet is limited. Charging phones and computers will use precious solar resources. A good book, "nature sitting", meditating with mind and brush will be much less taxing. And the only thing I want to connect to is my paint brush and yoga mat for at least four weeks time. I relish the idea of retreating for awhile and finding my way.
This is where I will retreat to, to paint and find my way back into art and yoga.
I will miss the (fancy) house with its beautifully carved staircase and of course, the Violet Fern Garden. The house, I didn't bring to potential, in fact often neglected, and it needs a few things that her new owner will give to her including warmth in winter and a new roof.
But I take comfort in the fact that the garden is in her glory. She is all grown up and wild and in her very own radiating element without any meddling on my part. She doesn't need — to be divided, thinned, weeded, poked, prodded, reshingled, stripped, painted, cleaned — she just is.
All the critters who live among her agree, the garden isn't in need of anything. I disappear for days at a time and you know what? I don't matter. Everything grows and carries on and then a few of the critters say wait a minute, where have you been, you are the peanut dispenser! Peanuts now, please!? Yes, it might be nice to weed a pathway or prune a few things here and there to please the human illusion of control ... My neighbors think so, as evidenced by discarded grapevines thrown at me over the fence, but you know what? I won't have neighbors for very much longer. Besides, any amount of control excised will be inevitably swallowed up by growth.
Yes, the Violet Fern may creep out of bounds a bit and not look very suburban or kept, but neither do I, and regardlessly she still teaches me. It is this wild side I always appreciate and embrace because that's who I am and what makes me feel connected in the universe. I don't mind giving up control and allowing a few rough edges to fray here and there. I rather enjoy watching the fray with curiosity to see where it goes and what I may learn. I almost feel badly I rooted the Violet Fern here in the center of conformity and confinement. But in her being here, she offers a special respite to those who seek abandonment.
Maybe her new keeper will box her in or even mow her down but it's comforting for me to know the Violet Fern grows freely to her wildest potential before I leave. And it's comforting to know that the new owner will tend to the beautiful house. And it's especially comforting to know that I can walk away and totally miss out.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
All quoted verse is from the Bible I am currently studying: The New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition