We recently took a family vacation to Pacific Groves, CA and rented one of Steinbeck Cottages. It is where John Steinbeck used to live! (I just found that to be the coolest thing ever.) My sister knows the owner who has lovingly restored the property into a gorgeous retreat that EVERYONE would love. It is so peaceful. You just want to pour a cup of coffee (or wine), close your eyes and listen to the birds sing their songs before you walk down to the beach.
Not only was it a beautiful cottage in a beautiful location, but it provided the base for the most enjoyable family time we’ve ever had. My kids struggle with change, but this set-up was so perfect for everyone that it made the whole rest of the trip amazing. We were there for an entire week! Being able to be away from home, and have it be such a success was a giant, pleasant surprise. It just makes my mom heart so proud. 😛
As you know, I’ve been working on doing an art journal for some good creative expression and decided to bring it along. The book I use is Anne Lamott’s Grace Eventually (Thoughts of Faith). I love her and the book and thought instead of it just sitting on a shelf – to get it out and dissect it, to really interact personally with it. My own faith has been so convoluted that I sheepishly hope that by the time my art journaling is complete in it, maybe some of my own thoughts on faith will be more clear. That’s the idea, anyway.
One afternoon during our trip I decided to sketch one of the 3 buildings on the property. (see above!) Being that I was geeking out at this being where John Steinbeck once lived and wrote, I decided to sketch The Writer’s Studio. This is the building where he would literally go to write! It was like artist-geek-reader heaven! I positioned myself on the ground across from the studio entrance under a huge tree in the garden and flipped through the book to find a blank page. With a cool ocean breeze floating through, I took my time filling in the details of the house. It wasn’t perfect, but it was so fun to do.
I snapped a picture for Instagram and then closed it up. Later when I opened it up to show my husband the drawing my jaw dropped.
I was so focused on the sketch that I didn’t even notice it was next to the “Steinbeck Country” chapter! I didn’t even remember that it was even in the book at all.
I think my faith, art, family, peace came together in such a serendipitous moment that I can’t help but pause and think..
Yes, I am on the right road.