Sitting here at my desk each morning I gaze out the second story window and watch the progress of spring. In the few weeks since my mother died, the once bare branches of trees lining our street have begun to sprout lacy green and white blossoms. The ornamental cherry tree is dressed in dark red leaves, and if I look closely I see the first hints of magenta blossoms that will soon explode into glorious full flower. To my right is the tulip magnolia with its elegant rose colored blossoms, swaying in the chill breeze.
The unfolding of spring signals nature’s insistence on what’s next, this brave and beautiful advancement into a new cycle of life that never falters but marches headlong into a new way of being. This spring, as every spring, it sweeps me into its embrace whether I’m ready or not. It pokes and prods me to uncover my own blossoming hopes and dreams, to step boldly and bravely into a new season of living.
Nature requires warm nights and gentle rains to
rejuvenate. I require nourishment as well, especially this spring as my heart copes with the empty space my mother’s death left behind. I feed my soul with art. I take solace in playing music with my friends in Classical Bells, for there I can think of nothing else but making the black dots on the page come alive through rhythm and harmony. I listen and react and move together with 14 other musicians as we weave notes together into song. I find comfort in reading and writing, losing myself in the stories of others, writing in my journal and shaping my own stories into some kind of cohesive whole. If I had doubts about my true nature, they were dispelled in the last 40 days: music and writing have worked magic in healing my grief.
Because I consider myself a writer and musician, words and music are the staples of my artistic diet. But I’m learning this spring to season the meal with a sprinkle of other creative pursuits. I carry my phone with me and play with photographs, aiming the viewfinder anywhere that catches my eye. I buy colored drawing pencils and blank sketch books and scribble without hesitation on their thick blank pages. I lug home mixing bowls and cake pans from my mother’s kitchen and try my hand at her favorite recipes, determined to replicate the taste and textures she created in the room that served as a sort of “studio” for her.
This creative play pushes aside those darkly ruminative thoughts that run through my brain on an endless loop. Instead, my time and effort is focused on making something, and this effort engages my spirit as well. So I allow these new buds to form and blossom as they will, without great concern for the end product, but simply playing with them, letting my creative nature take it’s course and being open to the possibility of what’s next as I nourish my spirit in this new creative garden.
About the Author: Becca Rowan
Becca Rowan lives in Northville, Michigan with her husband and their two dogs. She is the author of Life in General, a book of personal and inspirational essays about the ways women navigate the passage into midlife. She is also a musician, and performs as a pianist and as a member of Classical Bells, a professional handbell ensemble. If she’s not writing or playing music you’ll likely find her out walking with the dogs or curled up on the couch reading with a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) close at hand. She loves to connect with readers at her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.