I joined a women's book club a few months ago (my first book club and I'm totally geeking out about it). I was really struck by something at my first evening there. A room full of women, probably 20 or so, sat in a circle sharing their perspectives on the book that we had read. We had all read the same book, the same exact material, but each person had their own perspective to share about what was written therein. As I sat there and listened, I had this startling realization that none of these women read the book with objectivity. That every last one had a lens they were reading the book through. And that lens was tinted by their own unique blend of formative experiences, places, cultures, and countless conversations—all of which happened before picking up the book.
What shocked me even more was realizing that I had read the book through my own colored lens. One that has been tinted by decades of experiences, places, and conversations. A few of the things in my lens: a decade of marriage, learning to mother 3 young daughters, and a life of extensive travel. This lens is going to look different from someone that's been married for 50 years, never had children, or who grew deep roots in one community.
None of us just showed up to the book club; we all arrived there from a long and winding road of thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. So that's a long introduction, but the point is I didn't just *arrive* at making this painting "When the Rains Have Passed". I went through decades of joy and grief, of losing and finding myself before this painting started. And that lens is what I paint through; the lens is what gives the painting layers of meaning.
This painting captures the moment after the rains have passed by you, and you're able to stand off a ways from it. The storm that felt hard to endure a few moments before is now—you never would have guessed it—even a thing to be called beautiful. Having some distance allows you to see there is in fact purpose and there is light that comes after the storm.
Relish those spaces of light, enjoy soul rest, and allow yourself some space from the things in life that leave us weary, anxious, and depleted. Allow yourself to be awed by the small things, like the changes in the weather, and to be refreshed by them.
The road ahead bends toward the storm because we are not promised an easy path through life, or one that's forever filled with light. But I hope we can remember that hope exists and help is coming, if we are willing to wait for it. May light and color kiss you on the path you are walking, and may you be awake to this gift we call life.
If you are interested to hear more about my specific "lens", you can read about it here.