"leaning into the wind"
30" x 30" oil on gallery wrapped canvas
Growing up on the coast, oak trees and wind are both plentiful. One of those constants of life. To me, an oak represents strength and grace and shelter in a storm. In fact their beauty seems to grow stronger with the passage of each storm that comes their way. An oak welcomes the winds of change and leans into them instead of pulling away.
We all have our "oaks" in our life. Those people that are our shelter in a storm, the ones we can depend on when the wind is blowing hard. One of my oaks is leaning into the wind right now.
We have only been friends the last eight years but it seems much longer. She has been a source of strength and grace in my life. A voice of reason and a trusted ear. A smile that I could always depend on and a calm, gentle spirit that would smooth over even my most ruffled feathers. She made me a better person. She is one of those rare souls that can lead others with patience and love. She is looked up to and trusted by so many and there are so many of us that would do anything she would ask. She is who you want in your corner. An oak in so many people's lives.
She is facing the fight of her life right now. I received the news a couple of days ago. I just can't describe to you how hard it hit me. She was an almost daily presence in my life for so many years and even though our paths rarely cross anymore, I know she is there just the same. She is just one of those people that is one in a million. Irreplaceable. What do you do when you can't do anything to help? What do you do when all you can do is wait? I do the only thing I know to do. Paint.
As I painted, my mind wandered into the past. Her face came to mind and snippets of so many of our conversations with it. In my mind's eye, I walk into her office and I see her smile, hear her hello and it almost seems real. And through my sadness and worry, I can feel the calm reassurance, peace and strength that I always felt in her presence. Funny how the mind works.
I know life is a constant state of change. And the wind can suddenly shift and change directions. But I believe in strong oak trees. I have faith. I know she is leaning into the wind right now. And I'm doing the only thing I know to do right now. I am leaning into it with her.
Fight hard my dear friend. Get better. Lean in. Love you.