Sometimes, it still catches me off guard that we live in Colorado. Right now, I can’t imagine living anywhere else, but I have moments of pure panic to be so far from big bodies of water. I want to stand by the ocean’s edge and have the waves slowly bury my feet in the sand. I want to close my eyes, soak up the warm breeze and listen to the waves pound, children playing and gulls squawking. I want to be back on that laser with my childhood friend, set free to sail across the Choptank River to go play on the sandbar. I want to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico with my good friend and a margarita. I want to people watch beautiful Italians enjoying life along their Mediterranean coast. I want to watch Chris swim like a playful dolphin, where all of his worries seem to disappear. I want to feel that peace.

Since I couldn’t hop on a plane today, I went to “my room” to paint that longing. It was so cathartic. It wrapped me in so many wonderful memories from when I was the age of my children playing with my sisters, to college weekends spent with Chris on Wrightsville Beach, to trips as we watched our mountain boys explore and play with pure joy in a landscape so foreign to them. I found that my strokes, color choice at first almost felt like an agitated frenzy. I worked at a fast and frantic pace. But as I remembered so many joys, I was able to calm and let my fingers dance across the canvas. I could almost feel the water. Almost.

Volcano Lake*. Acrylic on Canvas. 40×30

*named by Ryan upon seeing the canvas