Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters

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Wisteria Arches in Formal Gardens at Westmont College

 

The blooming of the wisteria arches (there is a set of three of them along this center walk of the formal gardens at Westmont College, if you look closely enough) always causes me to pause and contemplate the notion of growth and blooming.  These arches are in full bloom about 3-4 times a year, if we're lucky, and the rest of the year they're in various stages of barreness to greenleavery. If I miss the metaphorical lessons the first, or even the second Spring bloom, I have at least one more opportunity to reflect on and grow from the experiences in my life.  It's my responsibility to take the time to do that, and I believe God uses these lovely arches as my periodic reminders. I must have needed lots of reminders as there were four opportunities this year!

 

For better or worse, I'm blessed to have this view from my desk at work.  Why do I work here instead of paint full time?  I have a day job for several reasons.  1.  It provides me regular income for living, canvases and paints, as well as the all-important health insurance at this stage of my life. 2.  It gives me a tangible opportunity to help others...in this case, students attending college at a school I believe is vital to our society...developing intellectually extraordinary, globally engaged, thoughtful leaders for the next generation. While my role here is indirect, it is is one of the small branches on the vine, and I pray that I bear fruit as well.  3.  It keeps me engaged with the current art world as member of the Westmont-Ridley Tree Art Gallery.  I take classes now and then to push me from remaining stagnant, and force myself to keep considering how my art communicates that which I hope it will express.  4.  It keeps me connect with people, in particular, people with a heart for God--a support system, yes, but more so an intellectual and spiritual ongoing discussion that keeps me less focused on myself, which being an artist can foster if left to myself, as is my natural inclination.  

 

So back to my moment of blooming wisteria reflection, I now see that what I am to learn or recognize today is that instead of bemoaning the fact that I can't paint full time, I am very blessed to have this job, and that perhaps I am meant to always have at least a part time job for all of these reasons.  My challenge is to keep remembering this and use it and other experiences and learning to push me in my art for God's glory, for as this lovely garden reveals, God is the ultimate creator.

 

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