10.14.2011

He who plants a tree . . . plants a prophecy

I've been working in the past this week, remembering and re-claiming promises as I paint.

I sketched out these sweet little lollipop trees in watercolor and ink when I opened my Etsy shop in 2009.  They were my original logo and shop banner, based on Psalm 1--it was a promise for ever-nourished creativity with growth and harvest to come in the right season.

Trees on white

My Eowyn was a newborn at the time, nursing on demand (i.e. constantly! ) and I wanted something to keep my hands busy as I sat there on the couch for hours at a time.  Painting had been one of my cravings when I was pregnant, and I was delighted to unexpectedly still have some time to devote to it after Eowyn was born--Hubby was laid off that summer and therefore home for a few months to help take care of the baby.

He was such a natural at parenting from the very beginning--he and Eowyn had (and still do have) a very special bond that honestly made me a little jealous at first!  No, but really, I am so grateful for that bond.  Hubby burst into fatherhood as a knight-in-shining-armor: "Superdaddy" to the rescue!  Eowyn was rushed to the NICU just 20 minutes after her birth, and Daddy rode along in the ambulance while I stayed behind to recover. He never left our girl's side during those first 24 emotional hours; he was strong and clear headed, talking calmly with the doctors and responding with great wisdom, while I recoiled in hiding: exhausted, confused, in shock.

Dad and wyn2

During the hospital stay, Hubby could hold Eowyn and calm her in an instant, deftly navigating all the tubes and wires and monitors without a glitch; I always managed to detach something by mistake, triggering the alarm on her heart-rate monitor so the nurses would come running. And after the wildy beeping machines were calmed, it was sometimes the baby's wailing cry that was triggered by her helpless mama--she was being fed through a tube that nourished her but couldn't satisfy her hunger, and she cried when I held her close, sensing that I was supposed to be fulfilling this need for her! That was a difficult time, but it would make our homecoming even sweeter.

One Week Old 5

IMG_4704

Slowly but surely, Eowyn's paralyzed vocal chords healed.  After almost 4 weeks in the NICU she pulled out her feeding tube for the 14th time and refused to keep the nasal cannula in place, so the doctors finally decided she was ready for the test to see if she could swallow and breathe on her own. Two more days and they were convinced she was nursing well and gaining weight, so we were released to go home just before Eowyn turned one month old.

With the home-field advantage, I was able to settle into my role as a new Mama and to get over those feelings of clumsiness and helplessness. Eowyn is still quite the Daddy's girl, but she and I understand each other with an undeniable spiritual connection. And when baby Penelope, the Mama's girl, was born a year later, boy oh boy did I begin to fully appreciate the gift of that Daddy Magic that worked wonders on big sister!

So I re-worked the trees this week (I added in a digitally-altered, watercolor background that I originally painted by hand), thinking of our rocky introduction to parenthood and the promise of growth and nurture and cherishing that held true through it all.  And as I painted, I found myself revisiting this promise that first entered my heart in 2009 (it's hard to believe that was nearly three years ago)--the promise that I would someday, somehow, also come into the fullness of my creativity and passion.

Cultivate

I know that promises are not forgotten, although they may linger in the fulfilling.  And there is always testing along the way.  The hope that began sometime in 2006--for the miracle of life and the creation of our little family--was fulfilled after three years and much heartbreak, then tested some more by the doubt and fear for our baby's life that sometimes haunted me (in what now feels like a short stay!) in the NICU.

As I work now with a passion that is curbed sometimes by a resurgence of chronic pain and exhaustion, I can't help but think about my feisty little firstborn, so full of life and fighting against her physical restrictions in the hospital.  She has lived up to the name we gave her, our warrior princess who flew into her first battle just moments after her birth--refused to be caged by breathing devices and feeding tubes, and even later by a crib (she never slept in her crib!).

E then and now

As strong as she was, Eowyn needed a little help at the beginning of her life. It was hard for me to accept that fact then, just as even now it's hard for me to own up to the fact that I'm not strong enough to handle everything on my own.  So I'll humble myself and ask for some help.  But I won't accept my body's restrictions on my heart, oh no.


And I pray that you'll throw off whatever it is that binding your heart today too, friend. 


Remember (as Rain so eloquently put it here): we only wear our bodies--they are not who we are.  And as we become "the shape of our souls," let us determinedly  give thanks for the struggles and pain of this physical body ...because all seeds are planted in darkness before they burst forth with the blossoming beauty and strength of the tree.

What does he plant who plants a tree?
A scion full of potency,
He plants his faith, a prophecy
Of bloom, and fruitfulness to be;
He plans a shade where robins sing,
Where orioles their nestlings swing;
A burning bush - a miracle!
Who plants a tree, - he doeth well!
                                                                     --Author Unknown

Linking up with my artist friends at Studio JRU, Paint Party, and Artists in Blogland.  

Happy Friday everyone--I pray seeds of hope will root in your hearts too this weekend!


35 comments:

  1. Beautiful piece...all the way...pictures, story, musings...

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  2. oh sweetheart, you honor me! i was crying as i read your post, imagining all the emotional turmoils that must accompany new motherhood, and i see your kind words.

    your family is so beautiful!
    i hope that you find physical relief soon, even as you create art and life and love.

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  3. What a beautiful post! I love your art and your lovely writing. I also experienced a childbirth where the baby was fragile and in danger. We went through all the breathing tubes, feeding tubes, etc. But our son's stay was only 10 days so I can only imagine the anguish of a whole month. Our son is 52 now with only slight evidence of the anoxia he had at birth. He fought to live and has been so determined all his life. He is the light to us in our old age.

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  4. Really this is such a lovely post! Happy PPF!

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  5. Good post! "To nourish, cherish..." very apt painting too

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  6. lovely post and your art is beautiful!

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  7. I was touched by your sharing in this post and it was such an open and heartfelt piece of writing... I love the simplicity of the painting and hearing the wonderful story of how it developed. xx

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  8. Art has brought me solace and I hope it does for you too, wonderful story, thanks for sharing it with us.

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  9. Beautiful story and beautiful artwork - thank you. :-)

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  10. What a beautiful post and I have to confess it brought a little tear to my eye. You deeply touched me and the painting just goes so well with what you have shared. Your daughter and art have grown into something very special.
    ManonX

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  11. @rain :: Thank you, Rain! Your words have given me great comfort and encouragement this week.

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  12. @hastingshall2 Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad your son is still so full of life. It's amazing how an experience like this in the first weeks of life can stick with a person and play such a big part in the development of character and personality.

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  13. What a lovely story! Cute little girl!!

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  14. Absolutely wonderfully awesome post ~ words are not sufficient ~ Art is great ~ You, your husband and daughter are so blessed to have each other ~ more blessings to you ~thanks, namaste, Carol (Share the Creative Journey) Happy PPF ^_^

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  15. What a beautiful name, Eowyn! Never heard of it before. Thank you for sharing her victorious story! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  16. What a wonderful story about your feisty girl. Your posts always give me a great thought to keep in mind.

    And I love the lollipop trees.

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  17. Awesome post and beautiful daughter. I'm happy for you and your lollipop trees and message are wonderful. Happy PPF!

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  18. thank you so much for these beautiful words that spoke so eloquently to me.

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  19. What a beautiful, moving piece! Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  20. beautiful
    i, like the others, am so touched by your story S
    today i embrace my motherhood!

    love and light

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  21. Beautiful - so glad everyone is prospering! Interesting how revisiting art brings back so many memories...

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  22. Such a blessing to read such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing this story. Love your art too of course. Happy PPF.

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  23. Beautiful post Sadee. Your husband must be a wonderful man.

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  24. What a journey you have been on. I love that you went back to this piece after these years have gone by and made it reflect your heart today. It is beautiful! And what a blessing you have in that wonderful husband! :) Thanks for sharing your heart with us today Sadee!

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  25. Thank you for sharing this post with us. I can't say I know how you felt, but your words touched me and expressed the feelings I had when our grandson struggled for life when he was born. He made it through his rocky start but was lost to us 4 years ago when he was 16, he was pulled out into the ocean by a riptide. He was an inspiration to us all and is greatly missed.

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  26. @Hands to Work, Hearts to God Thank you, Patsy! Eowyn was, I think, originally a Gaelic name and it was the name of one of the heroines in The Lord of the Rings--a woman who goes into battle disguised as a man, and who defeats an evil that "no man can kill." Still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it ;).

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  27. It's heartworming to read your story. I'm delighted for your happy ending. :)

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  28. What a powerful story! I'm so thankful that Eowyn came out well in the end. And I love your persistence to not be held down by difficulties. Beautifully written.
    My Blog

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  29. I'd almost forgotten those days in the sunshine of who eowyn is now. Her momma is a fighter too. Steady and resourceful and faithful.

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  30. That is an amazing story about your beautiful little family. We never know what we can go through until we do. Little one taught a lesson you caught well, love Rain's thoughts, it feeds right into the story. Blessings, Janet

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  31. Everything about this post is beautiful..the pictures, the writing, the family love. Everything!

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  32. Sadee, thank you for sharing such a beautiful post with us! The story of sweet little Eowyn gives us all hope and inspiration! No wonder your art is so lovely! Deb

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  33. what a touching glimpse into your past, that which is creating the YOU in the present. Its hard in the midst...... Your artwork continues to be an inspiration. Such beautiful pieces of the soul on paper.

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  34. What a wonderful post! I love your artwork and what a sweet story and wonderful daughter.

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Thank you for being kind with your words and generous with your time!