Bluebirds, Baskets & Ribbons

"It's the Blue Bird we were looking for! We have been miles and miles and miles and he was here all the time!..."

Many of my paintings are inspired by dreams. I recently had this beautiful dream of a tree in Springtime, with beautiful pink blossoms. Each branch held a basket secured to the branch with blue satin ribbons tied in a bow and the ends cascaded down and blew in the warm Spring breeze. Bluebirds covered the branches on the tree in abundance, and the vivid blue of the bluebird contrasted with the soft pink color in the blossoms in full bloom. When I awoke I carried this beautiful image with me all day. I started a watercolor painting of this image and it is a work in progress. Instead of trying to capture the entire tree, I decided to crop it to a single branch with two bluebirds, a basket hung from the branch and tied with blue satin ribbons. I only wish I could paint the vivid colors that I saw in this dream. The dream carried with it so much beauty and hope.

I collect old children's books, and one of my most treasured belongings is a book called The Bluebird for Children by Georgette LeBlanc (Madame Maurice Maeterlinck), written in 1913. This book was used by teachers to read in class, I own the teacher's copy. I always loved how our teacher's copy of our books were a bit thicker than our study version. When the teacher would gather us children around her, and she would read to us in class, I would stare at the large volume she would have in her lap. It was larger than ours beacuse it was the teacher's copy. I always wanted to hold the teacher's copy of a book because it held all the answers. The Children's Bluebird of Happiness holds a magical story and so many spiritual lessons. The teacher's copy explained those spiritual lessons and it did in fact house the answers to the questions.

The story is about a little girl Mytyl and little boy named Tyltyl they are poor and ashamed of their poverty. Tyltyl is the hero's name, he was ten years old, and Mytyl is his little sister who was only six. The story begins...
"Once upon a time, a woodcutter and his wife lived in their cottage on the edge of a large and ancient forest. They had two dear little children who met with a most wonderful adventure..."

They meet Light who takes them on a magical adventure and they meet up with all the things that we deal with on earth and they even visit heaven. Light takes them through lands of life and reveals the truth about what appears beautiful. When they have been exhausted by all the lands that they had visited they want to go home. When they return to the bird that they once thought was ugly and useless, they realize that it was a beautiful and valuable bluebird all along. They returned to their lot in life a bit wiser and gave their treasured bluebird to a little girl who was blind. They realized that to be thankful for the blessing we have in life is to truly treasure our bluebird of happiness and when we share what we have, this is the most valuable lesson of all. "Dear Light revealed nothing to the woodcutter's Children, but she showed them the road to happiness by teaching them to be good and kind and generous."

I love this story and felt so blessed to have found this treasure. I believe the reason I adore bluebirds is because of the wisdom that is in this book. We each have bluebirds in our life and sometimes it is when we lose them for a while that we come to treasure them the most.

From the book "We can only appreciate our bluebird in life if we are forever grateful for what we have been given...Our bluebird."

I love the dream that I was blessed with and each time I work on the painting I am reminded of it's beauty. The last line in the book The Children's Bluebird is:

"Each of us must seek our happiness for himself; and he has to take endless pains and undergo many a cruel disappointment before he learns to become happy by appreciating the simple and perfect pleasures that are always within easy reach of his mind and heart."
Such wisdom in this lovely story for children, perhaps the author meant the message to reach all the children...big and small. I know that I love the lessons in this book and I am reminded of it's wisdom every time I see a bluebird.

For those of you with little children, I found this delightful site for bluebird activities for children, with coloring pages, arts, crafts and games to play.

The song for this post is It's Blue Skies sung by old blue eyes, Frank Sinatra
Teri C said...

Such a wonderful story, paintings and lessons. I just love your posts!!!!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Thank you Teri. It is so nice to know that I can share special images and thoughts and that they are valued. Blessings, Karen

Thomas said...

Thanks for visiting As I said I am happily adding you to our blogroll called Brenda's Friends.

I love this sentiment.
"Each of us must seek our happiness for himself; and he has to take endless pains and undergo many a cruel disappointment before he learns to become happy by appreciating the simple and perfect pleasures that are always within easy reach of his mind and heart." I am going to print it out, hang it on my wall and hope I truely reflect upon it.

Keep up the great work.

KarenHarveyCox said...

Thanks Thomas,
I love the site that you created for your little girl. Did you see the bluebird activities link...there were lots of fun things on their for kids. I added Brenda's Friends to my children stories blog so that other people will find you too! I agree that quote from the Children's Bluebird is so true about life. Karen

Sharon said...

This was such a beautiful story, thank you for sharing with us. I too love the bluebird and use it as a recurring theme in my own painting.

Mrs. D said...

Have your read Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild? One of the chapters recounts how the girls perform in a ballet of The Bluebird. That is where I first heard of this story.

I love your painting, pink & blue are my favourite colours!

Best regards

KarenHarveyCox said...

Thank you,

I have not read the Ballet Shoes, but that must be a beautiful ballet to see performed. There is also a wonderful movie starring Shirley Temple. I understand that when Shirley Temple was turned down to play the lead in the Wizard of Oz that they gave her this movie instead.