Life is amazing. Live it to the fullest. Stay as long as you can. Valerie Harper
Today I transformed an old pie safe with paint and images of those that bless my life daily — hummingbirds and flowers. If I played it safe, I would never have attempted the transformation involving color and an engagement of a part of my brain I only find possible when I garden, but it was consideration of an unfinished life and my interest in painting, however much I am a novice, that propelled me to action. That old pie safe had been sitting on our patio for two years, storage for fertilizer and elements that fashion a gardener’s life. It sat in rather uninspired fashion. I worried its vision – the one I conjured when I bought the pie safe at a garage sale – would get lost in all the stuff around it.
I thought of all the projects on my bucket list, and considered that pie safe among many. I thought of the man I married – the consummate junk man, although his so called junk is certainly not something to be discarded haphazardly. The treasures he finds are many. The treasures I find are no different. They have value and many can be re-purposed for other uses.
I don’t want a life of regrets. I moved one too many times, for example, without finishing the task of a true home. I wanted to think of our home as an opportunity to build a special place, brick by brick, stone by stone, to leave it, if you will, better than we found it. I have many other projects like it that preoccupy my time.
The pie safe is just as important. I pulled out the citron colored solid stain that I bought a few years back for this very purpose and began the task of repainting the piece. I couldn’t stop there. I decided to paint a flower and hummingbird along the side. I wasn’t sure I should attempt the act, but I thought of Valerie Harper’s quote, and exclaimed what the heck.
In hours the pie safe became a more attractive element on our patio. Not Van Gogh, for sure, but certainly testimony that with effort, a plain Jane becomes something other. It’s a reminder as well that our worth is less defined by the resulting product, but by the act of moving itself.
Life is amazing. To stay as long as we can is not about marking the hours and minutes with business as usual. Rather, it’s about venturing into unknown ground to find parts of ourselves we didn’t think possible. It makes the point to not waste a minute and to take on the thing we were previously hesitant to tackle. Each act takes us one step closer to discovering our true self. Truly amazing.