Baby Steps back to my Practice
2021 started off with a wondrous bang in our household, as two new babies joined our family eight weeks earlier than expected. As a planner, I had a plan leading up to this time. To finish up projects, to paint a bit and then, only then, would twins join us. Clearly, those plans were merely a suggestion.
The time was swept up in being on bed rest in the hospital whilst trying to stay pregnant as long as possible, followed by a 6 and 8-week stays in the NICU. That’s a whole other chapter of experiences — rich with emotion and tucked delicately away — not that long ago but feeling like another world entire. Both guys were healthy, thankfully, and finally were able to come home; one before the other. We were together. That was the sweetest, most amazing relief after such a long haul in the hospital. A moment when I could actually fully exhale the air from my lungs, for the first time. And let me say how profoundly grateful I am for all of the support we received from dear family and friends. There aren’t words that can convey the immensity of my gratitude. The thoughtful notes and phone calls… the gifts, the food, the willingness to support. All of it.
A new normal set it. Oxygen tubes and tanks filled our house — green-colored tubes ran from tank to each babe, creating a network of paths in and out of different rooms. One got pretty good at balancing a babe, negotiating space and dogs and limits in how far a tube could actually travel. Having two tinies was a completely different game. Our five-year-old was in awe of having not one but TWO siblings at home. Days melted into nights and into days, again, only as time does in that postpartum, fourth trimester period. Days and nights were spent holding, loving, rocking, being in this space of love and all of its immensity.
Slowly, I started adding my studio practice back in a series of fits and starts. One painting was started in July and finished in September. The motions of creating something felt strange in the beginning. And hard, because there was no wellspring of energy to draw from. The painting I created is titled ‘alpenglow’ — it radiates with warm oranges, pinks and lush golds, giving off a sense of incandescence. One can see alpenglow when the mountains are illuminated by a setting or rising sun. With babes, I’m so often awake at all hours, but it’s those gentle and peaceful mornings that I have built a new relationship with. This golden sunrise felt like a fitting piece to come back to. A new start. Brilliant and bright and full of purpose and warmth.
The beautiful thing about one’s practice is that it is there, waiting when you’re ready to step back in. And when you come back, it’s like greeting an old friend. You just sort of pick up where you left off.