I love going for walks in my neighborhood. With sidewalks on both sides of the street, and lots of great trees, it has always made for a pleasant stroll. I often see birds, butterflies and sometimes squirrels and even a rabbit once in a while. I love taking snapshots of these mini adventures and reveling in the moment of my minutes outdoors.
Recently I noticed a big change in the FACE of my neighborhood: many of the trees have been recently "pruned" with larger limbs removed; this I was not expecting. I guess I just thought my tree-lined sidewalk would always look the same. It reminded me of a rain forest, with lots of greenery all around me. But with those pruned changes, that same walk has truly opened up. It almost feels bare in a sense. Quite frankly, I was disappointed by this change, yet, also realized that that's the way life works. Change is inevitable...especially for growing things!
But noticing the changes in my neighborhood trees, and working to be flexible with these visual differences even if I wasn't happy with the change, had me thinking about the changing "Faces" of Life in general. We all experience them at one time or another whether we think about them much or not. Of course, there's the obvious change of aging in our visage we all experience. But what about the Faces of our cities, our local landscape, our highways as they expand to accommodate our growing population (Here is McKinney, Texas, the best city in the U.S. to live, we have been experiences major highway construction for several years, but we can see how much better and wider it will all be when it's finished!)
Then there's the face of our families, as new ones are born and older generations pass from this life into the next, leaving memories and photos to treasure. How about our friendships, some with long-years staying power, and others just for a time.
There's also the changing FACE of our employment, sometimes causing us to actually change where we live, being transplanted for a whole new life.
These Faces of Change can often be difficult to adjust to, especially if it means loss to us. We have to be gentle with ourselves as we work to understand the changes we are experiencing without being overly critical with ourselves, and yet, also creating a balance of our view so we can still be at peace with what is. There is always something to learn from the changes in life--especially when they are least expected.
So how do we stay flexible when changes come, especially when these changes are out of our control and must simply be accepted as they are?
I think validating how we feel about these changes, recognizing what we will miss, and perhaps honoring those changes creatively so we have something to remember them by, can help us assimilate what we are experiencing without being too hard on ourselves.
Change will come. We will change with those changes. Honoring Who We Are and Who We Are Becoming through those changes will help us understand ourselves better; and perhaps, as a result of loving ourselves through those changes, we can leave a meaningful mark in our changing world.
The above images of the tree limbs give me hope since they are what's left of the branches on my neighborhood walk that haven't been pruned, thus I really appreciate their beauty!
Is there a specific "FACE" of life in which you have experienced change, whether small and more surface, like the trees I've given as examples, or something life changing with loss of some kind? Honor that change by detailing how it has affected you and changed you. See if you can recognize and visualize a positive aspect to this loss as you detail this change.
Art Journal Prompt:
Honor any visual FACES of change you have experienced by creating a spread with images of this change and what it means to you, both at face value as well as within. Use the colors that speak meaningfully to you and consider what those colors are saying about the change you experienced.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyrigt 2015 Images by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.