My first is the Monet print of Soleil Levant 1865 which was a wedding present from my boss. This print has been has been through a lot, has had things thrown on it, nearly burned by a candle being lighted below it and being moved to a new place to live. But it has survived intact – in fact a bit like me! It also reminds me of when I worked in London by the River Thames. At times of sunset, stormy and sunny days the light and colours on the Thames would amaze and invigorate me, and sometimes all you could do is just wonder in awe of the creator’s canvas.
The second is a signed print by Margaret Chapman picked up at a local market stall; it just makes me smile with the quirkiness of its characters and sat in my kitchen for a long time. It was brought in happier times and brings back those happy memories before things turned sour in my marriage.
The third is an original cartoon sketch of Larry the Lamb getting dressed for bed. I had gone to visit an exclusive hotel in London as part of my job, just before going on maternity leave – admired the picture and was then given it! The picture I gifted to my son’s room and will always remind me of the wonder of giving birth and the love I have for my son.
The fourth is a print of In the Meadow by Paula Nightingale. A little twee but is of young girl and her cat sitting in a meadow of spring flowers. The cat reminds of my cat I had at 10 years old and brings back a time of simple happiness and innocence of childhood and the sense of freedom I had as a child from adult responsibility and the reality of life. Entirely the romantic and full of imagination how differently my life has turned out than what I thought as child. I would like to write a letter to that child giving advice but I believe there should be no such thing as regrets, experience is what makes us what we are today and I don’t dislike the person I am now.
The fifth picture is the one in my bedroom, the one I look at from my bed each evening when I retire and the one I wake up to. I don’t know who it is painted by, but is of a silhouette of a person and a child walking along a beach at sunset. I searched high and low for the perfect picture for my bedroom, I wanted something soothing, something to get lost in – and I found this picture just before my first cancer operation to remove my breast. I sometimes imagine that is me and my son walking along the beach wallowing in the magnificent sunset and hearing the waves gently lapping at the shore and that my son will suddenly let go of my hand and run laughing excitedly splashing in the waves. Sometimes I imagine I am the child walking hand in hand with God, like the Footprints in the Sand poem (see below), trustingly being led and guided and carried in times of distress. Other times I am the artist or an observer sitting on the rocks watching these two with a smile. Sometimes the people are walking towards me and sometimes away and sometimes I imagine just walking into the picture radiating with love. The light in my bedroom changes the light and colours of the picture and sometimes rather than sunset it looks like dawn. Over the last seven months I have spent a lot of time in my bedroom and the picture soothes and comforts me, and helps me rest.
Different pictures can evoke different emotions and memories, just like certain pieces of music. Some believe that there Healing pictures where through the artists, divine energy of the images will come through their work and a person can receive a spiritual or physical healing just by viewing the art with an open heart, believe and trust. The pictures can be seen as a message to open the spiritual consciousness and as an important contribution to support the healing of the world. I believe the picture I have in my bedroom is such picture and was a gift from the universe when I needed it most.
Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Mary Stevenson, 1936