The Story of the Gardener Helping the Painter


      This morning I ran into a fella who was raking. I sort of know him. Let’s call him “the gardener.” We shared a “Good Morning.” Since he was raking, I saw an open invitation to discuss how difficult raking can be. I raked the yard this weekend and found it much harder than when I was a kid. I told him about this, about how I must need more muscles than I have, that it is really, very hard. He said, “yes, but this is what I love.” I replied that yes, yes, it does feel good, but it really takes a very long time to work on one little spot. He responded something about having to work little by little. “Yes, baby steps,” said I thinking about how very much improved, how very beautiful the area I raked had become when I finished. We parted ways. “The gardener” kept raking.
      Driving home, this conversation really sunk in. I was feeling very overwhelmed and on fast-forward about trying to solve all of the trials of living as a painter in my mind, immediately. Raking, requires effort, and time. I may work on small areas at a time, but the results show.
      Like anyone else, painters have days where they don’t want to go to work. It takes a bit of audacity to face something you are sick of looking at, muster up some hope, and truck on to make it something you like. It does require muscles that take time to build.  But this is what I love.  It does take patience, but things happen little by little.  And, hopefully, I stop to enjoy how beautiful the area I raked can be after all the work is done. 

       Here are the four paintings I worked on today.  Tomorrow I plan on showing up again to paint.  And on Saturday, I’ll be outside, raking.

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