Are We There Yet?

I was the kid who threw up in the car. My family often drove an hour-and-a-half to visit my grandparents, where my grandmother would feed us too many desserts (much to my mother’s chagrin), and I would spend the voyage home vomiting (much to everyone’s chagrin).

As I heaved the day’s sweets from my body, my sisters and brother would heave their bodies to the “backity-back” of our green Impala station wagon. I learned to breathe deeply in a fervent prayer to ward off the sick, block out the motion of the car, and imagine myself safe and cozy in my bed, finally able to put the harrowing ride behind me. It’s no wonder the novelty of the journey was lost on me at a young age.

I learned to cope by sleeping in the car. I once slept through a 14-hour drive from Indianapolis to New Jersey. But sleeping through the journey isn’t an ideal way to travel, either. Sleeping numbs you to the negatives, but you also miss the good parts: singing in the car, scenery, conversation.

Winters are part of life’s journey that stir a strong desire in me to sleep and ask someone to wake me when it’s over. During winter, my moods can mirror the sky: gray, empty, cold. When it’s warm outside, I walk my dog with head held high, noticing birds and clouds, drinking in the sun or gazing at the stars. In winter, I walk quickly, hunched over, breathing inside my coat to stay warm. I want to look at the stars, but it’s too cold to lift my head. I feel a pull to hibernate.

But I don’t want to sleep through winter and miss it. A few lines from “A Winter Blessing,” by Joyce Rupp come to mind:

Blessed are you, winter, when ice storms crush our hearts and homes, you call forth the good in us as we rush to help one another.

Adams County Arts Council (ACAC) strives to serve artists and our community. Feb. 12 was “Super Bowl Sunday.” Potters are invited to make bowls for donation to The Gleaning Project’s 2023 Empty Bowls event, which combats food insecurity. We are also scheduling healing arts classes for 2023: if there’s a person or a group who would benefit from an eight-week exploration of art to navigate their healing journey, reach out to Kylie Stone, ACAC’s events and outreach coordinator.

Blessed are you, winter, when your tiny snowflakes flurry through the air, you awaken our sleeping souls.

The Arts Education Center is bustling with classes in glasswork, culinary arts, jewelry, creative writing, painting, and textiles. Staff are planning for when winter “gracefully steps aside” for spring, bringing our Youth Recyclable Art Contest and Exhibit (the deadline to apply March 24) and our 19th annual Juried Art Exhibition in partnership with Gettysburg College (submissions are due March 10).

If dreams of spring remind you of golf, consider supporting our annual Tee It Up Fore the Arts golf tournament April 27 at The Links. This fundraiser makes the creative acts of service we do throughout the year possible. The sponsorship deadline is March 17. As the calendar settles into 2023, let us all stay present and relish another journey through the seasons.

Lisa Cadigan is the executive director of the Adams County Arts Council, located at 125 S. Washington St. in Gettysburg. She can be reached at 717-334-5006 or [email protected]. Visit online at ACAC’s mission is to cultivate an arts-rich community.