With all the frills upon it

  Nemesia Easter Bonnet

Frilly, Easter bonnet posies!  Aren’t they delightful?  This is the wonder that popped up when I googled “Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it” a week or so ago…             Simply, LOVE these.  Who (but a Gardener) knew such a glory existed? 

O Lord, how majestic is Your Artistry!

As a freelancing writer and artist, I can lead a solitary life in many ways.  When I was working full time corporate world, my days were pretty much predictable.  It wasn’t likely that I would meet anyone out of the ordinary or find myself in an unexpectedly delightful conversation with a stranger.

I don’t know why, but even now that I’m a bit more fancy free (though looking and not having found permanent full time work), I still don’t really anticipate God to send me such days laced with His Easter bonnet frills upon it…  Instead, I can be easily caught up in what needs to be done, trying to think outside the employment box for marketing and income possibilities… and in the so doing, miss the gift of entering into someone’s story here, there

Until...He plunks me down and tips my face up to notice… as He did last Tuesday.

It was a beautiful clear day and I’d driven 20 minutes or so to a family favorite apple and cherry orchard farm to inquire whether they might accept some of my artwork on consignment in their gift barn – as they had a couple of years back.

“Hi!” the engaging woman behind the register greeted me as I laid some brown paper wrapped pieces on the counter.   Maybe ten years older than I, a plucky hat on her head, she had the air of 1960’s free spirit and confident walk about her that made me smile. “What do you have there?”  Enthusiastic, she entreated me to remove the packaging.   “Oh, I love the sparkle in the girl’s eyes,” she pointed out on my illustration of the young girl with her horse…  “And this historic home from downtown…”

Only, when she tried to get the manager, it was a no go.  “She is quite busy today,” the woman returned to make her manager’s excuses to me, “and says we have enough inventory right now…”

Mm…Curt, cut off rejection from a stranger who refused to even take a look.  I tried to sigh back the disappointment as the woman before me chatted on as someone who wished to make up for rudeness by inviting me in to tea…  “You know,” she twinkled at me, “I think sometime we might just see your work here…  When I have a feeling about something, it often happens…”

Kindness extended, I thought.  But a pixie-like wink in her voice almost made me believe her.

“Let me show you around,” she said, gesturing the compass of the room.  I’d been here innumerable times over the past few decades, but not wanting to spoil her fun, I acquiesced with somewhat feigned interest…

That’s when He tipped my face up… whispered, Listen.  There are stories here and no intersection with another’s life is void of My Purpose…

Stories…and so many stories, yes.  She led me first to a beautiful oil painting hanging in a far corner. I’d it seen before but never really seen it.   Never noticed the glory of the sunlight dappling through the maples as the artist had caught it on a long ago day when the barn was not a business and the land was simply gently rolling, graceful farm.

“See this framed photo beside it?” my guide pointed.  Black and white, two women with easels, sitting side by side on country land.  “This is the painter and a student she was teaching one afternoon in the 60’s or so…”

The farm owner had just happened to capture that photo in time, she revealed.  He loved to see artists round his place, and squirreled away the photo until years later when he attended an estate sale of the late artist.  There among her many stacked pieces, he’d discovered the beautiful painting of his barn…

That story both delighted me and saddened me…  I wondered, had she never shown it to the farmer while she was alive?  Had she approached him for a sale at one time, perhaps been turned away?  Or had she loved it too much to part with it?  Why was it simply hidden behind her lifetime of work?  Had she put it there, or had someone less appreciative removed it from a wall in her  home to stash almost neglectfully in a pile?

Most of all, I wished she could know how it was treasured now.

Story after story unfolded as the clerk walked me around the shop, pointing out various artists, confiding to me about this one’s sorrows right now… another’s beauty for ashes that came when a loved one left her an inheritance that freed her to travel the world with her paintbrush…  A wonderful description of an elaborate anniversary celebration someone had planned in the upstairs room they now rent out…

Then, somehow, she began telling me about her own sorrow.  How she lost her husband four years ago to a quick and sudden illness, and the pain still lingered here and there… how she has somewhat abandoned the room in her home where he died, though it meant so much to her that he was able to be at home…

We spoke of shared remembrances of such events… the stuff of hospitals and prayers and goodbyes…

When time came for me to leave, I suddenly realized.  “I don’t even know your name,” I smiled, “and you’ve been calling me by mine the whole time…”

“Oh!  I’m not wearing my tag!”  she exclaimed.   When she gave me her name then, the uniqueness of it struck me, like a fun name you come across in a favorite old novel.  I wasn’t sure why exactly, except that it seemed like a name someone had carved out for her, like a jewel…somehow…lain in my hand.  I rolled it around silently on my tongue the way I often do with words that somehow enchant with their unusual or piquant quality.

“I love your name!” I blurted.  “It almost sounds like you made it up it’s so perfect for you!”

She laughed delightedly.   Like the tinkle of silver against glass.  “It’s real, I assure you!” she giggled.

Before I left, she made a suggestion.  “Have you ever thought of drawing a piece of the farm? “

“I would have thought its been overdone,” I answered, thinking of the lovely old Victorian home where the now elderly owners reside across the lawn, the family-popular barn that houses the bakery and cider mill, the rolling orchards and horse rides out back…

“Oh no…not since long ago…” she said.  “I could see you capturing a unique part of the architecture in pen and ink…” she offered as parting inspiration.

And with that thought lingering like fingers across piano keys… I headed home for camera and return…

I think again how our lives often run parallel with another for only a moment.  Part of His tapestry…  And how even now, God mingles her name in my thoughts with prayer for her peace and gentle release from the grief she spoke of… and for the others whose stories she unfolded a page of…

There are stories here, He’d prompted to my ear.  Listen. 

Tales from people who only want a listening ear.

I want to anticipate them more…these days with frills upon them.

I thought I’d gone there for myself.  But the Orchestra Leader,  He has all the players and parts deeply in mind and bids us to join Him in that…

“In my Easter bonnet…with all the frills upon it…” I found myself humming as I turned the key and my engine toward home…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

© Pam Depoyan

I think this is the first in a series I will post

about such Easter bonnet intersection moments…

The other day I read a beautiful post by another blogger – one that so echoes to a theme God seems to be speaking on our dreams.  Whether you are nearer to 30, 50 something or 70 – I  highly recommend you hop over to read this and be uplifted today –

http://sylvrpen.com/2016/03/new-starts-old-age/

:)

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Reminder!  Just a few days left…:)

Morning RoomSpecial FREE SHIPPING  and Sale over at my Picture it in pen and ink! site –

your 9×12 choice of my drawings… with savings that could total @ 15 off…

Click here to read more about it…    A Little Communiqué Spot 

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Sharing with:

   Beauty in His Grip Button Teaching What Is Good

http://womenwithintention.com/    Women with Intention

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace  #OneWordCoffee Wednesday

Three Word Wednesday

http://tsuzanneeller.com     Live Free Thursdays

About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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13 Responses to With all the frills upon it

  1. kendra roehl says:

    Love this so much. Taking the time to be present and listen to another’s story, God has been teaching me to slow down and do the same thing lately. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  2. Kristin Hill Taylor says:

    I’m glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday!

  3. Eileen says:

    Sometimes we realize that our plans, are not always God’s plans. And yet, HIS plans are always the best! God gave you in this woman’s sharing, HIS plan for the day, and a beautiful gift in that plan. So glad you were touched, and delighted by it! Thanks for sharing such a lovely description of it! Love, Eileen

  4. lynndmorrissey says:

    Oh Pam this is gorgeous. I didn’t have time to read it before, but it’s like dessert–God saved the best and the frilliest for last! I attended a very serious workshop over the past two days….on story. There were laughs, but it was very deep and serious nonetheless. The speaker said that no one listens to our stories, with great honor, reverence, time and attention. People are living on the surface, and often experience pain underneath. Your whole post breathes story and the time you took to reverence the teller. And you also honored her name. The speaker also talked about “naming.” I thnk your drawings do that, too (along with your beautiful writing). You are a storyweaver and a storyblesser and you continually bless me. I honor you with deep thanks.
    Love
    Lynn

    • I’m so glad this touched you so, Lynn. It’s so true… stories all around us, and people who just need a listening ear, prayers, uplifting… I didn’t want to give her name on here specifically, but it was just so unusual and perfect for her. Thank you so much about my drawings and writing weaving stories too… I love that word, storyblesser! You bless me too. I’m grateful for you.

  5. Carrie says:

    What a beautiful post! And how Our Father God puts stories and faces in our path, if we take time to notice. Thank you for sharing this lovely encounter!

  6. Thanks so much for linking up at Counting My Blessings! Slowing down. Listening to stories. Amen.

  7. Pingback: Continuing the frills… | Writing… Apples of Gold

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