As a kid, I spent many summers at Camp Rocky Point on Lake Texoma. One of my favorite activities was after lunch each day, when we went to "Singing Tree." There were benches to sit on like aisles in a church, and trees all around us and above us. The branches were so thick, it was like a "living" room of leaves forming shimmering green walls and a ceiling. As we sang, I thought about the beautiful nature around me and felt God there in our presence. I was not home sick, felt no worry and no anxiety...just peace and joy. The beauty around me just soaked into my soul and I was living in the moment.
As and adult, living in the moment becomes more of a challenge. I must choose daily to NOT live in the past; to NOT live in the future; but to live fully engaged in the here and now. Some of us lean naturally toward living in the past. Having left our hearts behind somewhere between memories and losses, we can easily become blind to the missed opportunities for connection with the living hearts close by right now, in the present. Others of us tend to skip ahead to the future; planning for it goes too far, to the point that we fall into habits of manipulation and control, trampling over the present on the path to what will be.
This recently completed piece is called "Singing Tree" and it inspires me to be different. It helps me to remember that I am made to sing, to create art, to appreciate nature, to consider God and invest into His most beautiful creation, people. I can still sing a song, by simply listening to the music in the hearts of others. I can paint a work of art, by engaging deeply with people one true moment at a time. I can see God, by carving out time to appreciate His creation and it's beauty. When I look at this tree, it compels me to stop crying, stop talking, stop worrying, stop managing, but to just be quiet and to give others the freedom to be with me in the moment. This piece inspires me to rest, to listen, to accept, to trust and to live, completely engaged in the here and now moments of life. Join me.
by Cheryl Harris White
Acrylic Collage on Canvas
24" x 36"