This is my 2015 project for the Women's Journeys in Fiber, and our exhibit just finished up at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, where this photo was taken. What a fitting theme umbrellas were for 2015, with all the rain we had! Here is my story behind it, and a palette of inspiration....
What is Your Umbrella?
Wet is my adjective for the summer of 2015. This season we have encountered a lot of rain! Small drops, big drops, it is all the same. Morning sprinkles or midnight thunderstorms, we have seen all that this wet precipitation has to offer. Squalls that come out of nowhere or storms that build on the horizon that we watch rolling in, they pour down the rain never the less.
Interrupting our progress, interrupting our plans; it comes and we can do nothing about it. As the wet drops come plummeting down from heaven, one tiny bead at a time, they nourish the parched. But too much, too quickly and it causes difficulties; makes simple things challenging and shapes our world with its force and power.
What can we do but run for cover in a rainstorm? When we have not a shield, we become drenched and are left gasping for breath as we feel the rain soak us through and through. Yet under protection, we can be sheltered from what goes on around us. The rain can pour and yet our shelter, though small, can provide a sanctuary from the storm as it passes.
How many times have we stood beneath an umbrella hearing the plunking of rain drops, watching them roll down and drip off its’ edge? In that moment, we feel uttermost gratitude for that refuge, the only thing that stands between our own comfort and the world’s harshness.
The rain in our lives can come at any time- it can soak us, chill us, flood us out, unless we have our shelter. What is that shelter for us? Does it look radiant, filled with a wellspring of joy, hope and faith? Or is it a community that embraces and upholds us until the rain passes? Do talents deep within us blossom and flourish with the rain and build for us a refuge we run to? We can find so many places to seek quiet while the storm rolls on. We don’t have to stay alone in the rain, getting drenched.
Today, whether you are experiencing sunshine or in the middle of severe storms, we know rain is to come. When you start to feel those first few drops fall, what is the umbrella you want to be holding?