Jeanne Bouza Rose has over thirty years of experience in education having taught first, second, third, fourth graders and designed an enrichment program for an entire school population of seven hundred. Having had a life changing Fulbright teaching exchange in Scotland, and having found rewarding artistic inspiration in photos taken during visits to the Orkney Islands over the ensuing years, in 2010 she returned to Orkney. There Jeanne spent six months in the cottage and studio of the late Orcadian artist, Sylvia Wishart, where she painted a forty-three foot long view of Hoy, the mystical island in constant view from her windows. Today she is living in the town of Stromness as an artist-in-residence. Orkney is an island rich in its cultural diversity and offerings. In addition to painting, Jeanne participates in a writing group, traditional dancing, figure drawing, and sings traditional songs a cappella with a woman’s choir. She says: “I am in heaven!”
My life has not proceeded in the staid ordinary way I once thought it would. I have had my share of disappointments and sorrows, but despite those moments, or perhaps, because of them, resilience and flexibility have become my trademark.
It is our ability to meet adversity head on or at least as clearly as we can at that moment, that serves to poke and push us one way or another. Some may go off into the wild blue yonder and suffer a state of no return. Or roadblocks on the highway of life may cause others to hide away and stagnate. But I have seen many people under pressure grow and soar as they learn that each one is given only one life in which to make a difference.
I am a lucky one for I have learned this lesson. I know that a discovery a day will make you smarter in every way. To that end, I intentionally keep joy alive. I walk and look up and listen for the sounds around me. I find feathers floating and at rest on the ground when least expected. I watch my feet and discover heart-shaped rocks. Every month, I notice the full moon and try to see it rise. Sometimes a painting a story, a song or poetry comes along like a swooping bird.
Resiliency is living life deep and thoroughly; seeing each direction that is pointed out and then charging along the chosen path. It is deep breathing from head to toe and through every pore. You see: Every moment, every hour, every day, I smile more than anything else.
Jeanne Bouza Rose, artist
For artwork and inspiration: www.JeanneBouzaRose.com
For travel and info on Orkney, Scotland: www.RoseCrossing.com