One of the most relaxing things in the world is to simply sit outside, perhaps with a drink in hand, and watch birds. Often, if I’m still enough, one will land on the railing of my terrace. For a brief moment, we’ll catch each others’ eyes, and he’ll stare back at me, cocking his head to access what’s before him. I stare back and nod imperceptibly as if to say “hello,” and I’m never certain that the greeting is communicated. In moments, he’s done with me at any rate and flying back off to parts unknown. It’s funny to realize we were both watchers in that moment. He was watching me as well. I’m not sure if I was as interesting to him as he was to me, but I cherish the short little time that we shared. Life can get so busy and hectic that it’s wonderful to have those little moments where nothing much of all seems to be happening. A brief encounter with a little bird can often be the best part of a busy day. A singular pause that makes the whole day simply drift away into something peaceful and happy.
I have to admit that I’m guilty of charging through days without stopping to enjoy the world around me. There are just too many things that have to be done each day and it’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of trying to actually do them. But there is always time to take that moment, to pause and reflect. To grab a brush and make something new on paper. To forget about all those complicated things that don’t seem to be sorting themselves out, and just savor the moment. Those delicious daily moments where I can scribble something into existence and add some splashes of watercolor. Pressed for time, and often wondering what the heck I should make, yet lost in a glorious moment that brings me so much joy. Sometimes, I wonder what I ever did before I discovered watercolor. My break at the end of each work day wasn’t nearly as therapeutic and comforting to be sure. I certainly appreciate this new “happy hour” much more than the ones that came before it.
It strikes me that no matter what is happening in life, we should always make time for the things that give us the most pleasure. Sometimes, sure, it seems like we’re indulging and forgetting about what’s most important. But, to me, the most important thing in the world is to do what makes us happy. When we’re happy, everything else in life just seems to get a bit easier. Life itself is a far smoother journey when we can embark with a smile upon our face. A quiet confidence, that although things are never going to be perfect, they can still be perfectly wonderful in the moments we allow our hearts to embrace the positive. And in these moments, comes the tantalizing truth that we are all artists in our own unique way. Each one of us makes something happen each day that couldn’t have happened if we weren’t there. To me, at least, that’s a totally amazing thing to consider. It’s all a thing of beauty, whether it’s creating the next watercolor masterpiece, or simply taking that cherished moment to get lost in the humble, yet amazing experience of watching birds.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Red Rose Deep, Cobalt Turquoise, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!