A Limitless & Delicious Buffet

Life is a glorious banquet, a limitless and delicious buffet. ~Maya Angelou

My cross country trip last year was a feast of travel with delicious experiences. I spent a few days at Hatteras, NC, in the Outer Banks, which I had been longing to do for some time. A few days later, I embarked on my "Eat Pray Love Tour" across our beautiful country. As the trip came to a close, a visit to a wonderful farmer's market gave me the inspiration for the first of many coloring book pages which I have now compiled into a coloring book and journal. The ripe, luscious fruits and colorful vegetables energized my creative juices and I started drawing with passion. One of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou came to mind as I finished the last details of the illustrations. 

Eating, Praying, Loving

When I first began planning my trip across the country, a friend encouraged me to listen to the book on tape by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love. Ironically, the movie would be coming out during my trip, so it seemed an appropriate name for my travels. As the trip plans developed, it became obvious that there was deep meaning in those words, as details and opportunities magically appeared. I was anticipating good food along the way, looking forward to windshield time to think and dream, and feeling excited about seeing my children who I had been away from for quite a while. I had asked around for a driving partner, but no one seemed to be available for the trek. As it turned out,  a very special person made plans at the last minute to travel with me as far as Colorado, making the trip even more spontaneous and fun. 

The first meals along the way seemed to taste much richer as the miles clicked along. Although there was one place in Texas which left much to be desired, eating with my shot gun rider  and cooking with my children was a delicious experience. Two of my kids are vegetarian/vegan and the food they make is spicy and well seasoned, colorful and aromatic. I was wined and dined by soon-to-be daughter-in-law, whose culinary skills are remarkable.  We enjoyed Chana Masala in CO and my daughter in California made yummy Fried Green Tomatoes, fresh from the market. 

As the miles clicked away, there was a "thawing out" in my body. Concerns and issues left behind soon faded away as the sky opened up and familiar surroundings disappeared. From city to city and mile after mile, excitement grew. Travel is such a great way to expand thought and explore new ideas. Having time to think and dream without a timeline to keep, appointments and deadlines to meet is a wonderful opportunity for delight to enter our minds. I immediately started to draw new pieces of art. A highlight of the trip was visiting the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. Sensuous and powerful, I was brought to tears to experience her work in such detail. I was greatly inspired and a prayer was answered to make art a part of my gift back to the Universe. 

Traveling gave us time to talk about relationships, dreams, and thoughts on what is. Learning to live by intuition, leaning in to small (and big) messages that come our way, and living in the moment, becoming aware of what is "here and here and here" that we don't ordinarily see was a lesson in deepening growth and love. As the rolling hills gave way to plains and enormous skies, followed by rising mesas and plateaus, eventually swelling to mountains with views that took our breath away 'round each turn, more tears came at the gifts that were spread out before us. Finding loving arms around me and being able to express love to those who share this life with me was so much a part of this trip across the land and in my heart.

Download the coloring book page Glorious Buffet. Enjoy!




Comments

Mary C. Nasser said…
What an inspiring post!
Amazing!!

All the best,
Mary
Mary C. Nasser Art Blog
Suerae Stein said…
Wow - what an amazing trip, with food and living in the moment. So inspiring! Makes me want to hop in the car and go! A terrific post and so well written. I love the coloring book too! ~ Suerae

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