Perch of Gold, oil on board, 5" x 5"
Here it is, almost the end of the month and I have yet to write about the art I had chosen for the month of May in my calendar. Since I last wrote here, I have participated in a weekend selling event – setting up a large booth with my art, delivered paintings for two different exhibits, finished two commissioned paintings and took them to a photographer to be prepared for print on a large electrical box in our city, packed and shipped several orders, had numerous medical tests and procedures because of four completely different symptoms that all occurred within a month – all tests showed nothing worrisome (praise the Lord!), went to Michigan to see family, had our grandkids stay with us for almost a week, took a long weekend getaway with Ray, rehearsed for and sang with my church choir and worship team, and got flowers and vegetables planted in our yard. Whew, no wonder I had a hard time finding time to sit at my computer and write!
Thistle Delight, oil on board, 5" x 5"
While thinking today about what to write regarding my little butterfly paintings, a quote came to my mind that I had put on one of my art magnets which pictures a different butterfly painting I had done a few years ago. It says, “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” I am learning to take that to heart and live in the moments and not worry so much about whether I’ll have time to do all that I want to do. I’m learning that maybe all that I want to do is not what is necessary to do. The things I did do over the last month were important things – take care of my work, my health, spend time with family, worship, and time in the garden. I had some days that I didn’t feel well and realized that I just could not do any more than I was doing, and that was just fine.
Magnet with quote and my art
The quote I mentioned above is a good thought by Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali Brahmin who learned lessons from nature about time and the pace of life. The butterfly has such a short life-span, yet has time for all that it needs in life all while living in beauty. Jesus tells us “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? . . . Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” He is not saying that we shouldn’t take care of our needs, just not to worry about them. If we do what he puts before us each day, that is good. He also tells us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Oh, to just soak that in for a while – really grasp it and make it how I live! I ask as Moses did to “teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Ps. 90:12) When I have my meditation time with God in the mornings, I consistently ask Him to help me to use my time wisely, to do and say all that is important for me to do and to say and to not do or say things that I should not do or say. I don’t want to waste time by not getting things accomplished that I should, but I also don’t want to worry about doing things that I don’t need to do. When things come up, such as a person with a need or a day of not feeling well, I have learned to take that as part of the plan and go with it. I will have time for what is important, including taking time to rest.
A picture Ray took July, 2020, while hiking at Mason Dixon Historic Park, WV
I do love butterflies for their inspiration regarding change and new life and for their beauty. That is probably why I follow them around whenever I can to try to get good photos to use as reference for paintings. These are two of the four I’ve painted so far and I’ve got two more partially finished. “Thistle Delight” was from a hike that Ray and I took and were surrounded by thousands of these little orange beauties. “Perch of Gold” is from a beautiful golden colored rhododendron bush that was in the front yard of our sweet little house when we lived in Summersville. If you know the names of either of these types of butterflies, please inform me!
I also think it’s good for us to consider the short life of a butterfly and how it lives it to the fullest. They live in the moment and have time enough for what is necessary and good. I hope this will give you a little inspiration for enjoying your summer and taking life a little easier.