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I began my daily walk through the fields this blustery and grey Christmas morning when the village church bells suddenly rang out loudly, enticing anyone willing to join in the celebration of the birth of Christ. The bell ringer sounded as if he was jumping up and down pulling on the cords and the image of him being catapulted into the top of the bell tower made me laugh out loud. The fields were empty as usual and there I was beneath an expanse of never ending sky. The sensation of being rather minute and irrelevant in the world is best felt under a country sky in an endless, treeless landscape. Nature has always been my inspiration and this morning the grey sky, the passing flock of starlings, the chiming bells felt like a new beginning. Soon the sky will clear, the birds will roost, and the stark landscape will burst into riotous life when spring returns. We unconsciously start anew every single day. When bad things happen to us, we resolve to never let them happen again. And the best proof of the resilience of the human heart is to continue to love in spite of everything. I have metamorphosed several times in my life even as an artist- this is the first painting I ever sold. I found this photo of the painting and wondered how I managed to do something I had never imagined I was capable of. Perhaps that's the secret- start afresh, keep going, keep trying, keep reaching for the impossible which will happen if you want it to.

Merry Christmas. May your hearts be at peace and your eyes full of wonder at this blessed gift of life.

Musing Man, Oil on paperboard, copyright S. van Dalen


© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

Enjoying family on Christmas