Maybe Life Really Is
It was done in shades of blue with a touch of peach here and there and when I first saw it, tears sprang to my eyes.
Something about the painting made me see beauty in something that had previously been just another duty. The child was sound asleep in his mother's arms, his head on her shoulder, her cheek resting against his curly hair. Light from a nearby window was just beginning to chase the dark shadows away.
The rocking chair in the background was empty. Whatever his need, she had taken him in her arms without waiting to get to a more comfortable spot.
The quilt she held him in was further evidence of someone's love. The little patchwork pieces so patiently arranged in design and so warmly healing.
I knew just what had happened as I drank in the picture. She had heard his cries, wrapped him tightly in the warm quilt, told him everything would be OK now, and rocked him gently until his fears and tears were quieted and he was once again safe and warm and asleep.
But though he sleeps, she does not. And as she holds him snugly, the faraway look in her eyes is evidence that she too is at peace.
I cut out the picture from the magazine, had it mounted, double-matted and framed and hung it right next to the door that leads from my room. When I get up in the night to calm tears, I pass it in the dark and know that what I'm doing isn't a terrible inconvenience at all.
It took two years before my youngest slept through the night. I listened to all the advice from outsiders - let him cry, feed him yogurt or oatmeal, skip a nap, and on and on. Then I realized that every moment during the day, we were surrounded by one or two or three others and their wants and needs and troubles. At night, just the two of us were together. My son and I.
It was then I decided that those few minutes together were not a chore or a pain or a sacrifice. They were an act of love, a sweet service. And then, as the woman in the painting in shades of blue, I felt peace.
Author: Louise R. Shaw
Visit the author's website for more inspiration: "Finding Inspiration"
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