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A New Beast 

Welcome to 2022; our brand new year and while we may have in the past considered a new born baby to represent the New Year, I think after the past few years we should consider animals. It has been said of the month of March sometimes comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lion or the other way round. We’ve all seen lions at the zoo or in animal documentaries, we know what they are and we also know they can be a dangerous predator; lambs are the exact opposite and can be associated with virtues like calmness, innocence, and purity as in virgin wool.

If a year were like a voyage we would have considered that we had sailed off the map January 2020 because where we are in January 2022 is a world apart from New Year’s Eve 2019. Watch a film or even a television series before Covid-19 and we are awed by how close people stood to speak to each other, how they even kissed Grandma on the cheek or people met each other for the first time on blind dates without a mask; amazing. Here we are in a brand new year and all the previous years do not help us; we have no road maps or farmer’s almanac to help us through these strange and new situations we find ourselves in 2022.

In the novel by Daniel Defoe the protagonist Robinson Crusoe set to sea to win his fortune. Sadly it did not go well for him as in he was stranded on a tropical island for decades. He had no road map to guide his quest for food, shelter and even clothing. We are not quite that removed as in we can visit the grocery and in spite of some shortages we don’t have to catch our dinner in a handmade net. It is something to consider that we may not have all the conveniences we would like, but if we are healthy and able bodied than we have more in our favor than some others less fortunate.

I find it helpful to remind myself what I consider blessings. Blessings are seeing the glass half full instead of half empty. I have heard some people say, “I’m so bored!” admitting you were bored in my childhood home was like admitting you had a character deficiency. If you were bored, “Well, you best learn a skill to amuse yourself,” would have been the response. And so I paint. Sure I miss seeing our friends and family for such a long period of time but rushing is exactly why we are living in our bubbles still, like Robinson Crusoe on his tropical island.  

We are living our life healthy on Sanibel Island on the Gulf of Mexico and while we may experience a few inconveniences we are still thriving and engaged with life. My acrylic painting, The Seahorse is a brand new beast; this is the first time I have ever attempted to paint a horse, ever. Would I have had attempted it three years ago? I would say probably not, but having months to peruse and reread Leonardo di Vinci’s biography, to study his horse sketches for a monument that was never completed I had the courage to try. Courage is something that is essential when traveling a brand new path; I hope you all find yours.         

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