I believe God gives us snow days to rejuvenate our weary spirits, allowing us to slow down a bit to wreak pleasure in the beauty of His magnificent, sparkling, winter magic. I am at home working on this snow day, enjoying a less hectic workday pace, not having to get out in the cold or fret about my ride back home from work. I am looking out my window and seeing a beautiful white therapeutic wonderland and thanking God for sharing such an awesome gift. Many of God’s gifted artists share their talents with others as therapy.
In the late 70s when my father was close to death and being taken care of by the Seventh Day Adventists in Dayton, Ohio, he surprised me and my daughter with handmade jewelry boxes. Although my dad could no longer talk and could barely breathe, he found much solace in creating something for us. I can still see the look of love in his paled, drawn, glossy-eyed face when he presented the jewelry boxes to me–just three weeks before he passed. They are gifts I will forever cherish. Art and creativity were introduced to patients in this particular hospital to help them focus on something other than their pain and their imminent deaths.
This was my first experience witnessing the collaboration of art with pain management. What an ingenious concept, not to mention a labor of love! If not for someone’s willingness to share their gift of creativity, I would not have this treasure from my father and he would not have had the joy of creating something for those he loved.
Years later, I watched my grown niece, a near-death anorexic at the time, make remarkable strides in her recovery through counseling that included ceramic classes, painting and coloring in books with crayons. Pictured here is a ceramic kitten she proudly presented to me during her treatment. To me it is a constant reminder of the importance of helping others. It also keeps me in check about how precious life is.
After a crying spell or a bad moment from one of my grandchildren, I have been guilty of coaxing them into doing something creative. It doesn’t take long before they are totally immersed in art projects as simple as making up things in their minds and drawing them on paper. Creativity allows people of any age to forget their worries and troubles and focus on the project at hand.
Not all therapeutic art projects are masterpieces, much like this morning’s vision of the winter wonderland I saw through my window.
However, once the story behind the art or the artist is known, that same warm, fuzzy feeling can easily surface just the same.
Top photo taken by Dan.