Embracing the Winter Sunrise - Finding Inspiration in Life's Changes
As I sit here, a woman in her late 50s, reflecting on my life's twists and turns, I find solace in the mesmerizing winter sunrise that unfolds before my eyes. It is a breathtaking moment as the sun emerges from behind Mount Hood, casting its vibrant hues and shadows across the sky, painting a constantly changing masterpiece that stretches over the Columbia River and the mountains to the south. The shifting colors of pink, dark blue, orange, and yellow blend harmoniously, illuminating the world around me. (Sunrise video at the end of this blog.)
In this awe-inspiring moment, I can't help but ponder the deeper meaning behind the metaphorical dawn that unfolds as I age. Just like the corny and trite quote suggests, "it's always darkest before the dawn," the winter sunrise serves as a reminder that even in our darkest times, there is hope, renewal, and the potential for something beautiful to emerge.
I recently attended my mother's funeral. Our lifelong relationship was dominated by her fear and anxiety. Alcoholism and mental illness had me creating boundaries that eventually led to our estrangement. I grieved for my mom and the relationship we never had throughout my adult life, especially after having my own children. However in my mom's final days, she found release from all the things that prevented her from truly engaging in life and love. Was it being in a facility that provided meds and prevented her from drinking? Was it prayers finally reaching her? How this sunrise entered her life, I don't know. It marked a moment of release for her and a release for me. I grabbed on to the last moments of being her daughter as she shed the fear and anxiety that had consumed her throughout her life. We made the most of this short winter day.
This experience has made me reflect on what we allow to shape us, transform us into the individuals we are day-to-day and over our lifespan. Perhaps you, dear reader, have faced your own loss—a spouse or partner, a change in health, or any other profound shift that alters the course of your life. In those moments, it can be easy to focus solely on the darkness surrounding you. But let me ask you this: What beauty can be found in the dawn after that loss? What possibilities lie within the embrace of change and transition? And most importantly, are you going to be open to seeing this? Choose to engage with it?
The colors that unfolded before me during my magnificent sunrise inspired not only awe but also a newfound sense of understanding where I am in life. Hope and love and thankfulness. Just as I would miss this stunning display if the days were longer, brighter, sunnier- I realize that without the challenges and trials, the truly beautiful moments in life may have gone unnoticed. Through our ability and potential to experience the change from dark to light, we see the brilliance and radiance of the world around us.
As I navigate the second half of my life, with the years undeniably growing shorter, I am faced with the profound question: How do I want to live and be remembered? This may sound morbid to some, but it serves as a powerful reminder to cherish each sunrise, to embrace its colors and find joy even in the face of adversity. It is from these experiences that we can find meaning in our life.
So, my dear reader, I invite you to join me in embracing the winter sunrise of our lives. Let's seek out the beauty in the changes, the possibilities in the transitions, and the vibrant colors that grace our journey. As you reflect on your own experiences and the metaphorical dawns that have shaped you, remember that it is never too late to rediscover yourself, express yourself through art, and leave behind a legacy of resilience and inspiration.
May your days be filled with witnessing the beauty of winter sunrises, and may your art reflect the humanity that lies within.
With warmth and reflection,
Sharon from Accidental ArtMaker
* I would love to hear your reflections on the blog. What are your experiences on finding beauty in life's changes?*
Join Sharon, the Accidental ArtMaker, on her creative journey as she spreads love and joy through creating art and enabling you as well: Accidental ArtMaker loves and supports every woman, mid-life or older, who is discovering herself and is creating art as a way to express that discovery. Just like your own journey, your art is uniquely beautiful too. Embrace it, kindle it, and be proud of it.
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