It’s Always the Journey

It’s a quiet morning in the studio. The clouds are piled up outside and it’s cold, or at least cold for here. I have a hot cup of cinnamon vanilla tea steaming on the table beside me and I am surrounded by the silence of the day as it begins.

My thoughts swirl about me. Thoughts of what I have on the easel. Thoughts of what I need to start and what I need to finish. Thoughts of a show coming up that I need to paint for, accompanied by those sneaky little panicky thoughts of running out of time the get it all done. Thoughts of my mom, and the arrangements that I need to start making for her to move from her house to assisted living and how I can’t seem to make much headway in that direction.

But one thought keeps weaving in and out of all the others.

This morning, like every morning for the last month, we headed to the beach to catch the sunrise. Daylight is getting longer now and every morning the sunrise moves up by a minute. Three weeks ago we would get to the beach and have to wait 30 minutes for the sun to rise. Now, it feels as though we are racing the sun to make it on time. Obviously, we need to move our beach arrival time up to compensate but it’s more than that. It’s about forgetting the journey and focusing on the event.

I was thinking on the way to the beach that the best light, the most beautiful color is always before the sun rises. Most people would say that the “sunrise” is the moment to see. But the moments leading up to the sunrise are really what it is all about. The day waking up. The sky slowly getting lighter. The color spreading across the sky. The waves growing stronger. The anticipation of the sun making its way above the horizon. That is where the inspiration and the excitement lies. Once the sun rises, it’s over. The color recedes, the waves calm down and daybreak becomes day.

It is always the journey not the destination. Why is it that I constantly have to remind myself of that? Why do we all get so caught up in checking off our to do list and not caught up in the moments we spend doing? It’s time for a reset. Time to refocus.

Today, I will try to enjoy the moments painting instead of thinking of the next painting while trying to finish the one I am working on.

Today, I will try to enjoy my mom more on her journey. Live in the moment with her, because the moment is all she has.

And tomorrow, I will get to the beach earlier to catch more of the moments before the sunrise instead of just making the main event.

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I am a landscape painter living and painting on the Georgia coast. Painting and writing is a way to reach out and share my observations, my experiences and my inspirations with you. It is how I tell my story and the story of the wild, beautiful landscape where I live.

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