At the beginning of my 31 days of painting, a new year begins, and then my new year begins, literally. My 50th trip around the biggest light we know.
This year, I ask for light for our souls, a light to guide our country and illumination for how we treat others as we navigate 2021 together.
5.0 is a bit of a jolt, I won't lie. Not at all like 40, or 30. As a woman, it's the end of motherhood literally and figuratively, the kids growing up, and the symbolic end of even the slight thought of another baby, at least until those fabulous grandbabies.(One of which we have already and love)
But 50 is a time for re-evaluating, experimenting, searching inside and finding what it is I want to say to this big old world. I am no longer guided by the fears or anxieties that dogged me in my 20's or 30's. I am no longer tethered by the beloved and sacred activity of full time school kids and familial obligations.
I feel a certain gravitas, simply because of the big, beautiful pile of years and experiences I have had. I am grateful for my life, I am thankful for 50 years to learn, grow, love and become fully myself- filling out my soul, continuing to search the incredibly gift and mystery that is life. And I will take whatever is left for me and ask God to use my life for good.
My painting today is of the big ol' cottonwood tree found on highway 96 in Kansas heading east toward Wichita. The " Lucky Tree", because anyone who lives 100 miles around knows you honk when you drive by for luck. I've driven by her since I was 2. My mom drove by her on the way to the Kansas state fair since she was born, and my grandad drove by her in a horse and buggy as a boy on his way to Wichita. She is very much a part of the fabric of who I am.
She is a 100 year old tree, at least, and has survived Kansas windstorms, ice storms, droughts, tornados, lightening strikes, and even a re-routing of the two lane to four lane highway renovation in the 1990's.
She drinks in the sun as seasons permit, and stores it deep in her bones for the storms. She is strong, resilient, deeply rooted, comforting, and beautiful in the eyes of those who love her. On my 50th birthday, the old girl inspires me greatly.