Monday, May 25, 2015

Cycle of Life and Doris R.I.P.

I found this beautiful picture representing the four seasons or a cycle of life that a tree and nature experience.  I wrote a post back in April of 2013 entitled Seasons and Surprises.    An excerpt from that post:  "Just as the earth goes through seasons in changes, so do we in our journey along the pathways of life.  No matter what season we are in, we are never alone in our experience because of our Ultimate Friend.  By His Spirit we are encouraged from within and once in awhile, He creates a 'bit of magic' just for you to brighten your day in surprising discovery."  You can read the post in full at

If you can imagine your life as seasons, we find that humanity as a whole share the same emotions and instincts in passing through experiences.  We all know what it is like to feel fear, hunger, thirst, pain and sorrow - to name a few.  On the flip side, we also know what it is like to feel love, fullness, happiness, contentment - to name a few.   

We feel the excitement, delight and wonder of new birth, when a baby exits the womb and enters into a lifetime of future experiences.  This event brings about a preparation, physically and externally in the beginning of their cycle of life.  So too, does a preparation begin for the end of life, in particular, my mother-in-law Doris....

I have written about her in previous posts and have introduced Doris to you as a Rosie the Riveter,  who has been a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandma and her own person.  She has been known as an avid horsewoman, a talented artist and skilled photographer for her own enjoyment.  She liked the outdoors and was a good shot with a rifle and has killed quite a few deer in her lifetime for meat.  Doris celebrated her 93rd birthday in February.  I felt at that time, it would be the last birthday we'd  have with her.  Doris has been in hospice care for a month now.  I have watched the tender attention that she has received from her caregivers at Valley View and her hospice team.  It has been a great comfort to see the preparation done for her as she exits this world and enters into the glory of heaven.  Her body has been treated with dignity making sure that she is clean and comfortable.  There has been a cuddly teddy bear by her side along with mouth swabs, lip balm and comfort blankets.  There has been a pain patch and morphine to eliminate any discomfort or suffering.  There have been spiritual words and prayers spoken to her and permission given to leave her weary body.   

We have watched Doris this past week as she crossed the finish line into eternity.  She has completed her cycle of life at the rich age of  93.  I am blessed to have known her, not only as a mother-in-law but as a friend. She did the best she could with the knowledge she had in her experience of life,   something most of us could say in our own personal journeys.  I share these photos with you of Doris as a girl who grew into a lovely woman who was still beautiful in the winter of her life.

February 27, 1922 - May 24, 2015
I am a believer in this simple concept - 'we are spiritual beings having a human experience'.  I can't imagine going through this life without believing in something greater beyond ourselves.   Doris is now enjoying peace in her true home knowing the fullness of  Love and Light that we just get glimmers of in this earthly realm.  A particular stanza in the popular hymn Amazing Grace says this:
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

Join me at The Turn-Up Patch on Monday, June 8.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Art Form, the Horse and Doris

You can spot some remarkable sights traveling through Central and Eastern Oregon.  One such sight is a creation of metal artistry that makes a person take a second look.  From a distance, this western scene looks real.  However, upon closer approach, you realize that these are horses, riders and dogs scaled to life-like size depicting a scene not uncommon in this ranch country.  These pieces of metal art are located 'galloping' on land adjacent to Highway 20 near Sisters, Oregon.  I am always amazed at the ingenuity and talent that can create diverse forms of art for others to enjoy. 

The below photo is the real deal.  When winter gives way to spring, it brings a sigh of relief to the rancher knowing that feeding season is just about over with and livestock can be turned out to graze.  The cycle then begins anew, working fields to grow hay for another winter's season supply.  I will say this for metal horses - they don't eat hay!  

The horse has been used in art form  to represent the mystical to the practical.  Drawings of horses as unicorns and winged pegasus have been used to spark imagination and fantasy.  The horse is an icon of civilization, with cave drawings from ancient days and leading to the present day when artwork has shown the horse in varied roles, which tell a story.
- agriculture... whether pulling a wagon or used as a mount for a rider   
- transportation... was the pulling power used in transit from buggies to wagons
- war...  a soldier with four legs used for military operations
- religion...  used in symbolism such as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse 
- exploration... forging a trail in the discovery of new lands
- competition...  from rodeo to polo and all the equine events in between
- therapy...  used to help the disabled, from physical to psychological

Art forms are expressed through mediums in metal, sculptures in bronze,  paintings in oil, watercolor, pencil, pastel, photography and media expression - all depicting the magnificent horse in heart, in obedience, in freedom and in power.

Doris, my mother-in-law, also had artistic ability and loved to draw horses and nature scenes in her younger days. She has left tangible evidence of her talent in pencil and pastel drawings.  In particular, Doris created an intimate remembrance in art form of a horse she loved.  She used her talent to draw out of this love, a pencil portrait of Mazie that is hanging in her room at Valley View.   Our Doris is now in hospice care and it is with nostalgia that I present to you this sketching that she did of her beloved horse. She is making that final ride out of this world and into her true heavenly home where she'll meet up with Mazie again.  The enlarged photos show the signed name of  'Mazie 1951' and her simple signature, the initials D.C.  - Doris Clark at the time of this drawing....

I have written about Doris in several other posts (links listed below) in case you haven't seen them and are interested in viewing:

I hope you will join me at The Turn-Up Patch in two weeks, on Monday May 25.   
Until then, I leave you with a great quote by Edgar Degas - "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."