Thursday, August 13, 2015

Giving and Receiving

My mom came over for our Wednesday project with a huge picnic basket in her arms. She began unpacking the contents and it looked more like the ingredients for a stew than a project. Onions, asparagus, beets, and corn filled the table. Next came her set of little craft paints. Some looked brand new, others I recognized from painting flower pots as a little girl. Finally, she pulled perfectly cut squares of white fabric. "We're going to paint with vegetables!" she said with a proud smile.

We brewed some coffee and sat down at my kitchen table to slice the veggies, paint them different colors and stamp the fabric that would become pillows. I'm not sure where she found the idea but the results were incredibly beautiful. The lines of the asparagus looked like a flower blooming and the onion stamps looked like suns bursting with color. As we worked, we talked freely about all of the things happening in our day to day life. We asked advice, told funny stories and worked in companionable silence. It was soothing to the soul.

I so often plan out projects for my children. I provide all the materials, make sure they have a snack or a drink in hand and then stand back to watch them create. I try not to have anxiety as they paint my table and chairs or their own hands and faces. We giggle about their mistakes and celebrate their creativity. But it's been a really long time since I've been the recipient of such care. I didn't have to worry about preparing anything. I didn't have to shop or cut or pack or lay it out. I was just able to enjoy the creative process with my best friend in the world. 

We give our children that gift all the time. We plan fun outings, pack picnics and organize craft projects. But I had forgotten how good it feels to receive. We all need to be taken care of every once in awhile. It doesn't have to be a big deal - Just a cup of coffee and a kitchen table can sometimes be the answer to a calm and nurtured heart. If we are open to receiving and giving, balance will be restored.

If you could spend an hour at the kitchen table with anyone in your life, who would it be? Call them and set it up today. 

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