June Maffin Art Blog
Sunny. It__™s a name that suits my friend well. Her easy, friendly manner encourages smiling responses in those she meets. Her patient, open acceptance of others, her loving nature and grace blesses those who encounter her. She brings sunshine in her very step. Yes, Sunny is well named. Each time I encounter Sunny, I find myself learning something because Sunny is a gifted teacher who by example, teaches a simple lesson: ___Take each day as it comes, appreciate it as gift and play a little!___
Sunny embodies the saying of the Jewish Rabbi, Joshua Heschel, who wrote that ___Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy___ and she points to the truth of the saying that ___Yesterday was the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present.___ (author unknown) Sunny is right. Each day is a gift, a new beginning, an opportunity to look at the world with new eyes and an opportunity for one__™s spirituality to be enriched through playful artistic expression.
When I meet Sunny, I can__™t help but look at the world in a new way, for she reminds me to slow down, relax, be aware of the sacredness of all that is around me, feel joy at an indescribable part of my spirit, appreciate all of life and play!
One day, Sunny came to visit. She seemed curious about my little outdoor garden so I invited her to have a looksee. When she returned, her attention remained focused on something that was outdoors. She watched, and seemed to be at peace.
In that moment, Sunny taught me. She taught me to see ___ see beauty in the familiar ___ see wonder in the everyday things of life ___ see beyond the visual and see the spiritual ... see joy in simply be-ing, not always do-ing. Sunny reminded me that mortals are called ___human beings,__™ not ___human doings.__™
When I typed the words above, it was the end of a long day " a day that began very early, before the light came through my curtains __" a day that ended very late. While I was physically tired, because of Sunny™s gentle reminder, I was spiritually renewed.
I realized it was a day where I had touched the face of Creator God in many humbling ways___ ways of peace, spontaneity, patience, compassion, mercy, thoughtfulness, love, kindness, humility, joy, goodness, solitude, grace:
In the joyous laughter of children at play in the nearby schoolyard, I met God__™s spontaneity.
In the busyness of the office where phones rang, people dropped by unexpectedly, emails and phone messages needed replying, letters needed writing, I met the Holy One__™s patience.
In the sanctity of morning quiet time and quickly-offered arrow-prayers during the day, I met God__™s peace.
In the tears shed by a woman whose marriage was tenuous and cried for solace and comfort in our time together, I met the Creator__™s mercy.
In the phone call from my son who walked me through the repair of a computer problem which was delaying completion of the design of a special project, I met Spirit__™s thoughtfulness.
In the wonder of the baby born at the hospital after a protracted labour and unexpected live and healthy birth, I met the Holy One__™s love.
In the youth holding open a door for another, I met God__™s kindness.
In the delight of the child who gleefully shouted to her mother ___Look! It__™s a butterfly - on my hand!___, I met God__™s joy.
In the unsolicited smile by a stranger on the street, I met Spirit__™s goodness.
In the quiet of my home which shelters me from the elements at day__™s end, I met Holy Other__™s solitude.
And in the gentle lesson from Sunny that no matter how busy each day may seem, spiritual renewal comes in taking each moment as it comes, I met and continue to meet, God__™s grace.
Sunny__™s visit was a gentle reminder that spiritual renewal doesn__™t come in dreading the future or in thinking "I can't create." Spiritual renewal doesn__™t come in regretting the past or in thinking "I'm not artistic."
Spiritual renewal comes in accepting, entering into and being grateful for the gift of the moment, be that a moment of struggle, a moment of accomplishment, a time of bereavement or loneliness or fear or frustration or anger or anxiety or laughter or joy or wonder ___ or whatever! Spiritual renewal comes in being hope-filled (hopeful), in being open to possibilities (of creating!), in seeing the world around as wonder-filled (wonderful!). Spiritual renewal comes in ___simply being.__™
In case you were thinking that Sunny is a human being, she__™s not. Sunny is a delightful four legged creature - a precious little puppy - who was used by the Creator that day in a very profound way.