by Amy Hautman Bates
A year ago, I was comfortable in my perfectly tailored house in North Carolina. I had a well appointed art studio, lush flower gardens, a wonderful collection of friends and both kids in college nearby. Life was pretty idyllic. I had solid routines and a finely crafted ways of being. It was all good. In fact, it was great. When the house was just as we wanted it, the kids were raised, my paintings hung in perfect rows, that felt complete. So then, I wanted to try something new. And why not?
I had been teaching art and had always been impressed by the transformative power of creative endeavors. I read a lot about Art Therapy and became more and more intrigued by the idea of “creating” as a way of opening up to something beyond ourselves. While investigating (googling) art as therapy I came upon this Masters program at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I love the desert. The mountains and sky are amazingly beautiful and I felt connected to this magical land. But could I really live there? I remember reading about the school and their mission of “transforming consciousness through education”. It sounded so perfectly suited to me that it seemed unreal. I remember standing up and walking away from my computer screen and then coming back to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. This golden opportunity to expand my world existed!
But wait! If we moved, we would have to leave our children on the other side of the country! Would Rog (my husband) go along with this? What about giving up our ultra customized house with the art studio for me and the music studio or him? What aboutall of our friends? What about our students? What about our comfortable existence?
We decided to try it. Everything happened fast. The ducks all lined up perfectly and here we are living in New Mexico!
I am sitting here tonight, looking out my window at the starry New Mexican sky, wondering where the new moon is and listening to the coyotes howl. Deep sigh. The greatest gift I have gotten from my first year at Southwestern College, is knowing I can trust this solid feeling that I am in the right place, at the right time. And this is enough. I am enough.