An agate slice wrapped in tissue from my father. A brush of rouge on my cheeks from my mother after I’d eagerly watched her adorn her own face. Driving through deep puddles, my heart soaring with the splash. My older sister typing my stories, my little sister’s shadow puppets late into the night. My cousin Deena telling me she loved my freckles, and seeing them as starry constellations across my skin from that day forward. The first time I saw Beau, age 14, and the fire lit inside my chest. The airy, rich scent of my white wedding bouquet. Then the smell of newborn Finn, the feel of his furry head. Old stones and burned sugar, trailing vines and blue painted doors, pink light through fog, shooting stars and grey sand with dear friends. The forest, still and silent, weeping dew with me as I grieved.
I keep a few pictures of myself on my vanity mirror from different stages of my life; toddler, teen, engagement, wedding… I see these versions of myself and think, “Why couldn’t you see how beautiful you were? Why didn’t you love yourself? Why didn’t you see how lovely life was?”
The truth is that my memory of events is often much better than how I was feeling at the time. In a memory we can look through rose-colored glasses. We can see all the beauty and yearn and mourn for lost years. In this season of my life I am trying hard to remember that I can see events here in the present through that same light. I can give myself grace, see myself as beautiful, and cherish my loved ones without the insecurities, peeves, and ever present thought that I’m getting older. I am trying to look at my current world through the filter of time. When I look back, I’ll remember things with a glowy halo over them. But I want that glowy halo now. Not an unrealistic view of life’s realities, but a joyful one. I don’t want to live life constantly trying to catch up to that viewpoint, ever climbing the mountain hoping for a better view, when all along the way I could have taken in my surroundings, beautiful in every stage.
Without the stress, grudges, laziness, and grumbling…Today is a sugar plum bouquet of pinks and purple flowers, the excitement of dear hearts around a table, a brand new present waiting for my little boy when he comes home from school. Dreams of geishas and cherry blossoms and sushi. Powdered sugar and almond paste. An impromptu hug from a man I still love almost twenty years later. And looking at my face in the mirror and saying, “You look beautiful.”
is the artist behind Flora Forager, the mother of three wild boys, and a believer in everyday magic.