After my morning routine and email check, I decided to dally a bit longer before getting into the studio to paint. Ten minutes turned into almost two hours (damn you internet!) and I had to unplug and step outside to get in the right frame of mind. I needed to realign, if you will. I laced up and headed to the trail.
The first two miles of my run on the trail were hot and painful.
I was not enjoying myself at all. So, I decided to walk.
Instead of using the time to multitask by listening to a podcast, I took my ear buds out and listened to the symphony of the swamp.
It was unusually loud today. The cicadas clicked and whirred to a soft roar. I spent a few minutes thinking about all I needed to get done, then a few more, and a few more. (I'm sure I was missing any inspiring animal encounters that were near the trail because I was so wrapped up in the to-do list.)
I stopped myself after mile four and forced my mind to quiet down. Every time a task would pop into my mind, I would counter it with an acknowledgment of gratitude. Eventually, the thoughts of thankfulness began to flow.
I came to a bench where I sometimes stop to look up at the spanish moss swaying in the wind.
|(I meant to take a picture of a huge turtle in the swamp, but I was distracted by this lovely creature and missed the turtle.)|
I let myself be still. Not trying to listen, but allowing space for inspiration. Maybe a new idea for a painting? An animal muse crossing my path?
Whether it is divine or just our inner self speaking, I strongly believe that in the quiet mind, we will find our guidance. Most of my biggest successes in my art and life in general have come from a still, small, but clear voice in this state.
Cut the grass.
Cut the grass.
The rain had kept my husband from cutting the grass this week and it was getting pretty long.
This wouldn't be a big deal, but we have a reel mower. ( No motor!)
So, after another urge to go cut the grass, I got up from the bench and walked the remaining two miles home. Podcasts lined up, wet towel on my neck and donning a visor, I pulled the Fiskar (yep, they make scissors, too) into the 88F feels like 95F yard.
I battled the side section first, since it's on an incline, too. I had to go over it several times, adjusting the blade height down with each round.
After 25 minutes I had the side done.
I brought the mower to the front yard and did the first two passes trying to go downhill. This was going to be a long battle. I was starting to regret the 6 miles on the trail. I wasn't going to get anything else done today!
As I did the strip by the road, a large truck passed by and stopped at a stop sign. I heaved the 50lb beast back up to our Oleanders and tried to circle them. The sandy soil caught the wheels and I struggled, but got it back down the hill for another pass. As I neared the road, I noticed the truck backing up toward our house.
The truck stopped in front of me and the windows came down. I'm sure I was a sight to behold. Red faced and soaked with sweat.
"You want a free mow?"
"I'll be alright. My husband usually does it, but I want to get it done before it rains again."
"You want it to look like you did it?"
Long story short, these guys asked their boss if they should stop and come back because they couldn't watch me push that mower in the Florida heat. They wouldn't even let me pay them. I tried.
Since the owner, Corey, wouldn't let me pay him, I asked what his wife decorates with.
It turned out that his wife is a graphic designer and they were both in the printing business.
He said she likes turtles, but I don't have any Slow and Steady signed prints yet, so I asked if she likes frogs. I gladly gave him signed prints of Atoadment and Kiss It.
I did ask for cards, and you can be sure that Safari Lawn Care will be getting our business next time.
With a 3 person crew and professional equipment, they knocked it out in under 15 minutes.
It would have taken me over 3 hours.
So, I actually did get a little painting done today, and my husband is spared from this week's bout with the lawn. Who knows, maybe a zebra painting is in my future.