Seasons of a Woman’s Life
Most everyone starts life with a mother who forms our thoughts and shares her love with us. I did. Mom was a full-time homemaker and mother. She was one of eight children and, in a way, she raised herself as she raised my brother and me. Her life revolved around taking care of us – sometimes too much. And while there was very little money, our home was clean and decorated creatively. More on that in a moment. Her other passion was flower gardening. Although they weren’t big, she lovingly tended her flower beds scattered around our yard, even carrying fertile dirt from her mother’s yard many miles away to enrich the soil. I can still hear the songs she would sing softly as she worked the dirt to bring beautiful plants to life.
In my youth, Momma would drag me to “junk stores.” This was a few decades before “junking” came into the mainstream of interior decorating. She would spend hours in the stores. Oh, how I hated it and complained profusely! Isn’t it funny how things come full circle?
Now there’s no place I would rather be than in a junk store’s dark, back basement looking for that precisely perfect architectural piece or unique ‘found object’ to include in my works. Yes, ‘found objects’ hold a high sacred place in the Bishop home. And, quite naturally, not all of my “adult babies” appreciate this characteristic. But it runs in the family.
My grandfather’s avocation was archeology. He was a tall, quiet man. Very quiet. I might have heard two sentences from him the entire time I knew him. His cabins were filled with Native American relics and assorted silver and gold objects he’d uncovered. He actually died in a dig in Arkansas. I’m certain he felt it was a great way to pass from this world, with clay on his hands as he met the Lord who created it all.
Between the two of them, my mother and my grandfather, I believe my nesting genes were honed to create a home where my family can experience a soft place to fall using all five senses. The sight, sound, touch and smell of an environment with its beauty enhanced by people who love them unconditionally.
As the seasons come and go, my ‘family’ enlarges. My husband says I collect friends as well as architectural objects. Sometimes they are with me only for a few seasons before they pass from this life. And the mix is very eclectic, for beauty comes in all different types of packages from unusual places. Some have been worn, torn, loved and left behind, but they are all unique.
My life is simple and I love it. Even when the storms blow in, I have an anchor in the lovely refuge created from found objects and my own creativity.