Last night, it rained hard, slapping our tin roof like the wings of a hundred angry crows. This morning, when we went out for our nature walk, the wind was roaring across the ridges like it tends to do in the mountains. It roars and moves the clouds like someone shoving their way through a crowded room, or it whips down the hillsides shaking tree branches and blowing dried leaves, filling you nostrils with the scent of moist earth. It does those things, or it gets trapped in the hollers whirring through them like the air through the whistle of a football coach when he wants his team to move now. I love the wind. It was warm today. The girls and I walked down to the barn to give our chickens some scratch. I took deep breaths.
This morning, I was disappointed by some news that I would have never thought would have hurt my feelings. In fact, I had pictured myself being relieved – wonderfully so. I haven’t been able to shake the melancholy. Yesterday, I spent the day preparing myself, reminding myself that the news I thought I might get was the definite inarguable answer to my prayers. Today, I don’t know what to call the news but inconclusive for now. It’s hard sometimes being the only one who knows how it feels, for you I mean… right now.
Tonight, it is raining again. I didn’t have the stamina after taking Deladis to dance (toting an unhappy Ivy who can’t stand not to be in the dance room with Deladis), grocery for supper, and church to put the girls to bed. Instead, I shared with them pineapple and cottage cheese. We popped some red popcorn in a pan for the first time ever and ate a whole bowl covered in real sea salt. They lay sleeping across my lap now. We have all been staying up too late.
Wednesdays are Painting Day for our homeschool. We are working our way through the primary colors as suggested in Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children, by Sharifa Oppenheimer. Right now, we are exploring red.
It is the freedom of the wet colors as they move, each in their own unique way, across the damp paper, that allows the various “natures”, or feeling qualities, of the colors to be known.
-Sharifa Oppenheimer Chapter 7 Artistic Experiences for Your Young Child
I rounded the corners of three pieces of watercolor paper and soaked them in water for a few seconds. I mixed brilliant red with water in the new paint pots I bought for us over the holiday. I tied the new green art aprons around the girls’ waists, and with each of us a brush in hand, we began to experience red.
My purpose is not to create a formed image, but rather to experience the feeling of red!
-Sharifa Oppenheimer Chapter 7
Deladis kept asking me what I was painting. I kept saying red. She got frustrated with me, insisting that I was painting something. I kept insisting I was only painting red, until it clicked and I told her a story. The red fairy found her gift one cold winter when the fairies wondered how they would keep warm. She used the warmth of her color to ignite a fire in some wood she gathered. Deladis was more than satisfied and asked me to tell her what she had painted – the fire fairy.
When the colors are introduced slowly and with care on the adult’s part, we can see that the children use the paint differently. They approach color with wonder and respect, like they are playing with best friends. It takes planning and effort, but this is a tremendous gift you can give your child and yourself. Chances are good that you have never experienced color in this way, either. You will find that this can be a calming, centering, and healing time for both of you.
-Sharifa Oppenheimer Chapter 7
I felt red today. I breathed red today. I tried to make it make me warm. I’m still disappointed – in myself.