Why there was No Painting in Paradise

Boat.St.Martin.WEB

Dear Tina,

How are you? I have missed you! I find myself hunkered down at home, catching up, reflecting and finding my rhythm. I just returned from my awesome island adventure to St. Martin with my good friend Brigitte. It was Ooooh la la laid back and the perfect little slice of heaven I was looking for. This trip rejuvenated and inspired my whole being.

“I have to find a place to hide
An island in the sea
Surrounded by a racing tide
Where I can live with me” 

~Laurie Matthew

beach.St.Martin.WEB

St. Martin map.WEB.

You wouldn’t even believe the CRAZY snow I had to drive through to get home the other night! I passed six accidents as I made my way from NH to CT. Luckily I had Kenny Chesney keeping me company and calming my nerves. His music always makes my heart light so I had no problem letting my mind wander back to the delicious tropical sunshine that kissed my skin just a day ago. The warm, turquoise water, brightly colored homes, tropical breezes, palm trees and the kindness of the people captivated me. The island is rich in culture, split into two countries~ the Dutch side & the French side. It was delightful to experience both cultures. I thought we would utilize Brigitte’s French speaking skills a bit more but to our surprise almost everyone we met spoke English.

“Nights and days came and passed
And summer and winter
and the rain.
And it was good to be a little Island.
A part of the world
and a world of its own
All surrounded by the bright blue sea.” 

~Margaret Wise Brown

St. Martin Palm tree2

St.Martin collage with Brigitte.resort

Brigitte and I spent at least a part of each day by the pool, floating in the ocean, soaking up the sun and sipping on tropical drinks. It was amazing to be shut off from the digital world for the most part and just BE. We laughed, dined with new friends and danced like we didn’t have a care in the world, truly present to each moment. It has taken me a long time to be able to live in the moment like this as you know. When I look back at my old self, the self that felt guilty for just about everything, always living in the past with my “should have’s” or in the future thinking of my endless to do lists I am so compassionate and mindful of that girl. I would tell her that there is a much better way to live. Presence truly is a gift. After all, this moment is all we know for sure and I want to be my best self each day.

St. Martin Sonesta Bay

St. Martin palm tree

St. Martin coconuts.WEB

Tender memories of the lush colors and textures of the island are permanently imprinted in my soul. We shopped at the markets, did a little hiking and went out with our cameras to observe and gather inspiration. I thought I would paint on this trip and carefully packed my paints and brushes but more and more I am finding my camera to be an extension of my art. It allows me to slow down and look closely at things I may have walked right by.

St. Martin market.WEB

St. Martin mural

St. Martin rare bird

St. Martin texture

I was particularly drawn to the many layers of peeling paint on the buildings, fascinated with the layers of time. The color was so rich and vibrant it took my breath away.

textures of St. Martin.WEB

St. Martin brigitte & I

This trip made my heart sing and lit me up in ways I cannot even begin to describe. It emphasized my desire to build a life rich with connection, deep friendships, culture,  continuous learning, adventure and gratitude for every precious breathe. I even found beauty in the snow greeting me on my way home. I am planning small adventures for myself locally as trips like this don’t happen every day for me. I have been blessed with so much and believe beauty can be found no matter where you are in the world. Until then I will savor this moment with a steamy cup of island coconut coffee and my imagination. B-School starts next week and I am looking forward to the challenging work that lies ahead of me. Here is to living our values, continuously challenging ourselves and striving to make a positive impact in this world. I love and appreciate you and our friendship so very much!

xo

LauraSignature

p.s. I loved seeing your thought process with your ReVision. It is interesting how we make sense of this life isn’t it? :)

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