Thursday, August 25, 2011

Heart & Soul

After years of marriage, kids, stresses and struggles, I'm always amazed at how the little things seem to have the biggest positive impact.  For the first time in years my hubby and I went out on a bike ride through the soft trails of the cedar valley...just him and I.  Well, not really just the two of us, there were about 20 other riders.  It was a weekly group ride that is organized by CVAST and Bike Tech.  Two amazing organizations in Cedar Falls who are dedicated to getting bums on bikes and out into the beautiful forests of the Cedar Valley area of Iowa. Both my husband and I are outdoor junkies, in fact he has made his career in bicycles.  So to find ourselves with two hours of 'no kids' for the first time in about 3 years was a gift not to be squandered on romantic candle lit dinners, or movies.  Instead, we jumped on our bikes and joined the group ride. 

We stayed in the back of the pack, just us, lagging behind the rest of the group.  Laughing, joking, smiling, connecting...again.  It was like a giddy first date for us.  We've been married almost a decade and after enduring the crushing stress of a micro-preemie, and plenty of ups and downs, we've managed to keep each other first in our hearts...along with our kids.  To us, our marriage is a marriage of soulful love, not just a marriage of parenting and obligation.  So to unexpectedly find ourselves without kids and free to do something with each other, that love connection came bursting forth.  You see, we met in the outdoors, we courted in the outdoors, and we even married in the outdoors.  So heading out doors was what we chose to do.

What made the experience special was the way he would sneak a look at me as we were riding along, the sparkle I could see in his eyes , the smile on his face, and the playful 'new love' banter we both found ourselves engaged in.  It's was so special and I can't tell you how grateful I am for having him in my life.  I really am the person I want to be because he loves me.

So the next day, still buzzing from the experience, I opened my sketchbook and let it all pour out.  I filled the pages with the colors that felt right for the moment.  Bright, vibrant, hot.  I continued my doodling attempts that I've been doing since last week because I still feel unstructured and wanted to just move the pen over the page, focusing on the micro segments of the faces rather than creating a big picture. I went back to my Koi Watercolors because I needed vibrancy of color and I used several different sizes of the Pigma Micron black pens and just a small smear of white gel highlights. Isn't that what art journaling is really all about?  Artful expressing of the moments in our lives that warrant capture and interpretation? 

When it was done I couldn't find the right words for this page.  They just got in the way, and the picture said it all for me. The tear on the cheek of the woman is one of overwhelming gratitude and the sense of being truly loved. Just how I feel.

Thanks for checking in. xx