I've painted you a corner of my garden this week,
It was lovely to see you all last weekend, and weren't we lucky that the sun shone all day for Walk the Wight! You did really well- I did notice that you kept a smile on your face and didn't complain- even when we were at the top of the Down and the wind was rather chilling.
Mummy was right wasn't she? You first thought that Walk the Wight might be a bit sad, as it is all about helping people at the end of their lives, but it wasn't at all was it? There's always an incredible atmosphere, everyone tramping away for the same aim. All acknowledging each other with smiles and encouragement. It's as though the Island becomes one big green lawn with hoards of people enjoying walking over it.
And, I did notice that you didn't moan even though you all had to walk up a big hill to join in as we'd all set off whilst you were eating lunch. I know that was probably because Mummy told you how Grumpa didn't complain when he did it last year, when he was very poorly.
Of course there are some sad things Em, and some bad things too. Nobody can pretend that isn't so.
But, we do always have a choice as to how to look at things in front of us...
Look at my garden again in the painting.
I was drawn to paint this corner of my garden because I think it beautiful. I like the stone lady holding her bunch of roses, with her hair tumbling down her back. She looks graceful and pretty by the hedge. I had all the pots out ready to plant out some geraniums, and was drinking my morning coffee at the time. The ivy creeping up the pale wall, the terracotta pots and colours of the brick paving and the sun making the white table and chair shine bright. The sun-faded pink cushion on the chair, and my pink gardening gloves, all create a pleasing vista.
Mind you Em, I suppose I could look at it another way...
The stone lady's nose is beginning to be worn away by weathering. The pots might get frostbitten and break, and all the effort of watering the geraniums I was about to plant, could put me off. That ivy,
ends up causing damp on buildings- and isn't that an asbestos wall? The brick paving could trip someone up and they could break a bone- and then they'd have to spend hours at A&E. That sun-faded pink cushion will rot soon if I keep leaving it out when it rains. The table and chair- it's starting to show some rust, and don't forget the worm I inadvertently cut through- who is struggling to make two of himself.
I could go on...but you get the point?
If I looked at things negatively then I just couldn't paint them. Because I wouldn't be able to appreciate the precious beauty that is in the moment- I'd never be able to appreciate what I'd got right under my nose- until perhaps it had gone. Then, it's too late.
That little lesson is one of the things that getting all my pictures done for the exhibition in August has given me. The gift of reminding myself to appreciate what is right in front of me right now.
Of course, I know that you know all this Emily, you are a bright girl!
But it doesn't hurt to indulge your Grandmother in teaching her grandchildren how to suck eggs,
Your ever-loving Grandmother, GiGi xxx