This piece of stained glass art sits in my kitchen. It's simple. Happy. And it is one of the few things that goes with me always.
In my early teens we spent a summer vacation at a Baptist family campground in Wisconsin. I think it was on Green Lake (sorry my memories are not more precise). We're not baptists, but we were a camping family and this site was nondenominational (allowed visitors from any denomination), beautiful and had lots of things to do.
Early teens... those years of balling up inside, criticizing everything, trying to figure out how you really feel about the world. The WHOLE world, all at once, and all of humanity and it's quirks and becoming overwhelmed and emotional and balling up more. I think it takes a clever parent to maintain a presence with a teenager.
That summer my mom and I each made a stained glass piece. This is mine. It took us about four days to put our pieces together and we did everything from choosing the pattern and glass, cutting the shapes and soldering them together. I remember us rolling our eyes together at all the biblical quotes one guy kept throwing out. "Let there be light!" Shifting through trays of colored glass; nodding to each other or pushing over a piece that we thought the other might like. It was a nice way to spend the week together.
At times my stained glass has been a sunrise and others, a sunset. Sometimes I'd stare at it and demand the answer, and it would just shine back at me. But always lifting me up and bring something that feels like acceptance. I've a sneaky suspicion that comes from my mom.
It used to hang in my bedroom window, but since I moved out it's been in my kitchen. My mom's is in her kitchen and I always smile when I see it there. It's a subtle connection that feels... good and strong. It makes me feel glad about who I am.