Meet Megan Gilger
My “SHE & I” series is an exploration of the beautiful intertwinement of Mother Nature and Feminine Energy. To further develop this study, I invited my talented friends to give a voice to each pair of paintings.
Each woman has some connection to Michigan and/or the Great Lakes. They either practice a creative profession or pursue creative expression in their free time, something I respect and resonate with on a deeply personal level.
I’m proud to know each of them and I’m excited to share with you both their words and unique stories.
My hope is that this series openly invites fresh voices and perspectives different from my own, and perhaps different from yours. You may read more about this project here.
Now, without further ado… Meet Megan Gilger.
“THE FABRIC OF HER BEING” 12x16 // “FLOWERS FOR THE MOTHER” 12x16 (available May 16th at 10 am CST)
The Fabric of Her Being
Amongst the breezy days of June where the sun hangs the latest of all the months. The sky clear blue nearly every day. The garden comes to life just as I do. There is a world that lies in wait all year for this moment. I feel the most home here. A pure and gentle moment where thoughts flicker through the rising ferns and grasses while the smell of warming earth and tomato plants waft through the air. The sweetest and warmest of scents seems to nearly take me away on the breeze off of the lake. And there as I turn the dirt and feel the grit of life under my nails, I feel myself in the purest form.
I let go of the world that exists outside of this small spot I call my heaven and live here soaking in the heat on my shoulders and the way the wind blows the whisps of hair coming from undone hair. There were days I thought beauty meant something much different. Call it frilly dresses, makeup, conforming, if you may, but here as a mother, as a woman…I see it all quite different. I see all of that as a show and instead I have hunted for the place where I could reveal all of who I am and no longer feel vulnerable or was left looking for affirmation. I looked for the place I could be my whole self. Now here, I see her, running her hands over those tomato plants, watching the mist rise over the hills in the morning, wandering aimlessly in the woods, nothing fancy, just exactly the things that make up the fabric of her being. Absorbed and mesmerized by the purity of life in all of its simplicity. Fulfilled by hand holding with her children, loving without expectation, and feeding those she loves from the dirt she has cultivated. Her story written not by anything other than the recognition of the seasons of her life and accepting wherever she may be in these moments.
Flowers for The Mother
A silent strength is what is held within you. From sleepless nights to heart breaking losses. Many rarely see your growth or the beauty you hold while you bring life into the world or anxiously await its arrival. There from tears of joy to tears of pain, there is an ocean built by those tears that simply explains the love you are endlessly capable. The strongest and the gentlest among us, we are nothing without the mother and nothing without the ones who bring us life. Breathing into our very beings You as the mother ground us, guide us, and remind us of how to live out of devotion and love. There is no doubt though that your beauty is made wild, vibrant, and alluring by this role you hold with such grace. You are the mother that in and of yourself is a universe all your own. A magical world all your own.
Megan Gilger, owner and founder of Fresh Exchange, a lifestyle blog and brand focused on intentionally living amongst the seasons on the shores of Lake Michigan. Born in Petoskey, Michigan, Megan has been raised by the life of seasons that have inspired much of her work for years. Beginning her blog Fresh Exchange in 2009, she has always pursued living a simple and meaningful life. Now, 10 years later Fresh Exchange exists with the same vision, pursuing to help others find success and fulfillment amongst the simplest parts of life. She writes about seasons and has built her online store to reflect the culture that has inspired her by pulling together artists and creatives from all over the Great Lakes region. When Megan isn’t spending her time pursuing her dreams and her creative work, Megan is a mother, gardener, gatherer, and hiker that feels most at home amongst the woods in Northern Michigan.
She & I:
I first discovered Megan on Instagram several years ago and was immediately drawn to her genuine love for Northern Michigan, her passion for living with the seasons, and how she strives to live in a way that sustains the land and water around her.
Not only am I in awe of her green thumb and environmental practices, but I’m also inspired by how she balances motherhood while still pursuing her creativity. She seems to have found a beautiful rhythm that flows with both Mother Nature’s seasons and her own life seasons, and is truly an example of how feminine energy and Mother Nature intersect.
This past March, Dave and I had a chance to finally visit Megan and her family in Michigan and in April, Megan graciously included a series of my paintings in her new Shop Fresh Exchange. Dave and I really look up to her and her husband Mike and are looking forward to getting to know them better after we move back to Michigan this summer!
Thank you, Megan for contributing to this project!