“I come to the…” crafts room… “alone…”
(“Creativity room,” I call it for motivational effect.)
… I wend my way past the ancient squeaky card table set up as station for sewing bits of fabric into patterns of light and shadow, and make my way to the little maple rocker by the window.
Here’s where I’ll sit with morning coffee, I think. Here’s where I’ll allow the day to wind up in me and start my mental wheels turning, just as it did on so many summer mornings in the garden.
There I sat on bench shielded by privacy screen and began with stillness. Needing to plan new plantings when I learned that mowing of that one large grassy space wasn’t going to happen, I “sat with it” as an artist “sits with” a canvas till images and patterns form in the imagination. That blank space became my canvas, and greenery and flowers, planters and edgers, bark mulch and gravel, stones and bricks became my art materials, their varied colors my “palette.”
I won’t be sitting on a metal bench outside in blizzard, ice storm, or sub-zero weather. I won’t be feasting on the wonder of growing things out there once they’ve come to look more dead than alive. I won’t be sinking seed into frozen soil.
Instead I’ll sit here surrounded by actual art materials and tools, shelves of them: paints and inks and chalks and markers, threads and yarns and fabrics and stamps, brushes and pencils and needles and scissors… actual canvases and blank papers waiting to receive the expressions of my imagination.
There’s plenty I can do here, and the room is light and welcoming. But somehow the possibilities lack the vitality I enjoyed “out there.” God seemed nearer there, and more a part of all the processes. Why? What was difference?
I pull aside a curtain to see the bird feeder, because that promises pleasant winter watching. This is the best spot for it, up above the birds, who don’t seem to notice what’s so far above them…
Beyond feeder and lawn lies the garden itself. My eyes are drawn toward it. In winter this window will give the best view of that, too. Pushing aside the second curtain, I also see, up the hill, the corn standing magnificent in Husband’s serious garden—and beyond that the trees, hills, and skies, the place of sunsets and sunrise reflections.
But these thoughts don’t help me consider the art room, do they? So I draw the curtains closed.
I have my little Psalm book with me. I open it to the twenties, today’s planned reading, and land on Psalm 24. I know it by heart, partly from childhood, partly from pray-reading it often more recently. So I pray it now, from memory. And when I come to open gates and His entrance through them, I push open the cloth “gate” to my view out the window again. I see fog forming there, thickening before my eyes, and beginning a slow undulating dance across the lawn and upwards.
Mere damp air. Vapor. Yet it seems so alive…
Then the epiphany happens. I see the difference between designing a garden while sitting out in it, and “creating” with the materials in here, see why there’s more God-connection outside: What’s in here is one step further from the Creator. Though paper comes from the pulp of trees God made, man made the paper—and so with all the other materials.
Suddenly a strategy emerges for imbuing my indoor creative space with more of a sense of the Creator. This forms a happy To-Do list for “To-Do’s-Day” tomorrow.