Hand painted umbrellas by numerous artists will be on display this week at Holland MacRae. Together with Carter Kay the curated variety themed “Showers Bring Flowers” will hang during and event where these will be auctioned to benefit The Shepherd Center. I’m flattered to have been asked to participate.
I have seen the beauty of The Shepherd Center’s work in the lives of their current and former patients. Their lives may have been shaped by diverse experiences; and they may have come to Shepherd with different diagnoses, with myriad hopes and plans for the future. But I have been struck by the connections, parallels, and mysteries their stories and lives share. Some could focus more clearly on the future, while others were satisfied with finding beauty in day-to-day life. And while others still felt burdened by the many unknowns that had filled their lives, I respected and envied the brutally honest conversations they were willing to have with themselves in order to find answers that felt right. They all seemed to live with momentum, approaching the horizon with a “but wait, there’s more” attitude. Maybe that is why they all felt connected to something bigger, an almighty that seemed to many of them to be so obvious it was silly to ask about--almost like it was silly to ask them about the magnitude of the doctors and staff in making their current life possible. How can one measure the feeling of returning to ride your bike with Lance, or of morning walks with a treasured friend whose MS came with the necessary lifesaving treatment, or finding the calm within the chaos of head trauma only when fellow veterans were by your side? I think that’s why many of the current and former Shepherd patients I’ve known share a sense of mystery, like an intangible, an unknown puzzle that they haven’t quite figured out yet, but whose pieces they trusted would eventually come into place.
Thank you Saul, Sarah, and Jacob for sharing your light with me.
Thank you Kristin for these beautiful images.