Summer Sunset on Lake Norfork

Sunday, I created a short how-to video on using cups with holes to create various texture.  Afterwards, I sat staring at my supplies half way cleaned up.  My husband asked what I was looking at, and why I appeared to be at an internal crossroads.


I told him I wanted to paint.  He looked at me with confusion.  I said, “I mean….I want to paint something for me.  Not for a how-to video, but it feels like something in my core is trying to push its way down.”  I don’t think he fully understood, and the is perfectly okay.  Problem was, it was almost dinner time, the in-laws were on their way over, and this type of painting (which consumes my kitchen table) takes a couple of hours.   Turns out, he was on board.  We fed the family and they went on to watch a superhero movie while I put in my headphones and allowed my playlist to free what I had been pushing down for several weeks by focusing on youtube videos to feature techniques and such.


Not saying this wouldn’t make a great video, I am just saying, it wasn’t meant as a teaching moment, it was meant to be a freeing Jes moment.


What I quickly realized…  My heart was feeling nostalgic.  I was moved by the feeling of “home.”  I was missing days of sitting on a bluff on the edge of the lake and watching the sun go down.  I was missing spending a day on Lake Norfork and then the exhausting ride back to the dock when you find yourself slowing down and just stopping at taking in the marvels of the beauty that can be created and then in minutes completely change, and in half an hour vanish.


Sunrises and sunsets are precious, yet often missed in the excitement, or chaos of our routines.  So that day, I took a moment and created the one in my heart.  The one that made me wish I could step back a decade or 15years ago, if only for a moment, to enjoy a relaxing sunset without a schedule hurrying me along, without children arguing in the background, and with my brother by my side.  A silent moment to just be present and to absorb the beauty that the great state of Arkansas has to offer.


I didn’t want to leave for college when it was time, not out of fear, but out of respect, humility, and appreciation.  I spend a better part of my childhood in Mountain Home.  I have lived in other states, it wasn’t difficult to see all of the blessings that I was awarded purely out of location.  I got to run on gravel roads where I could smell the various wildflowers, where at any moment I could come upon an amazing Ozark Mountain view.  A great percent of our food came from a garden—whether our own or by trading with friends.  


Summer mornings and weekends were always the same question—“Today are we going to the lake or the river?”  From there we choose kayaking, caving, playing in the springs or hiking.  Yes, during the weekdays those usually came after a hard days work, but it gave the motivation to complete your job quickly and thoroughly to earn the green light needed to truly live, love, and connect with the beauty that surrounds us.


I needed to feel that feeling again, I needed to find that lake girl, that summer girl, that small-town girl and let her show me what it was I was trying to remember.

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