For months, I have been nervous to share this poem. It is short and concise and the words come from the most tender places in my heart. But after six months of sitting with it and in light of Mother’s Day coming up, I feel like it’s the right time to share.
I wrote this poem on my kiddos' first day school this fall. Up until then we had done exclusively homeschool preschool, but as our kids have gotten a bit older, we could sense a hybrid option would serve our family rhythm well. To most it seems like a small step, but to us it was a big shift for our family. We found a wonderful school and It has been a tremendous gift to watch our kids grow in independence and confidence. They sit right on that brink of of the elementary years and there is a bittersweetness about the ending of this current season. Yes, the early years are exhausting…but there was something remarkable about the innocence and wonder of spending my day with two curious toddlers.
As they grow, I’m finding they need me in new ways. The demands are far less physical…but rather emotionally engaging as we help them make sense of the world. I wrote this poem as I reflected on the slow transition to this shift in my role as a mother. How could I gracefully say goodbye the innocent dependence of the early years while joyfully embracing the call to help them in new ways?
A Soft Place to Land
By: Katie Mulder
Little hands once clung tightly to mine
Now zip coats
And tie shoes
And open doors
Where has time gone?
Everything in me wants to press pause - to savor, to protect
But for today, like so many before, I put them first and let them go
And I pray that when the day is done, I am the soft place to land
That once again my embrace serves as a tender haven.
Not one that stifles and stunts but one that gives room to flourish.
As I sat with these words and these emotions, I found myself playing with paint once again. Like often happens, landscapes began pouring out, but this time with a bit more form and structure than the abstract style I had been previously exploring. Instead of the broad expansive skies, I found myself inclined to a nearer perspective. The foliage so close, it seemed to wrap around you and limit focus to what lies right ahead. The colors are soft still, but less moody than before, evoking a sense of peace and restfulness and comfort.
The narrowing of perspective along with the softening of color palette capture a visual representation of this new sense of role a mother- a reflection of the person I desire to be and the place I desire to cultivate for my family. I didn’t start out to create a full collection from this concept…it was simply a genuine processing of my own life through poetry and paint. But in the end, I had a handful of original pieces that so beautifully captured this season of transition
There are three original pieces remaining from this series, as well as a handful of fine art prints. You will notice that the titles of these works are represented throughout the poetry…a special way that I like to tie the significance of the artwork to the ideas they represent.
If you are looking for a unique and meaningful way to celebrate mom this year, both the original pieces and the fine art prints make the most wonderful gift. I hope this work connects with you and carries with it both beauty and significance.
Here's to meaningful art that celebrates home,