about the artist

The Scenic Route

We are Home, Sweet, Home after 3 grueling flights from Syracuse to Portland. We left Syracuse uneventfully on Sunday morning and arrived in Philadelphia with little time to spare as we took a shuttle to another terminal and grabbed a sandwich before we boarded our plane to Phoenix.

Then, it all came to a screeching halt as we waited and waited and waited for the plane to take off. Their were a couple of minor equipment repairs, one being a clogged drain in one of the bathrooms. They kept telling us it was a paperwork snafu. At one point, I was on the verge of a panic attack. Steve and I were not seated together so I couldn’t lean on him for comfort. I finally stood up and was able to talk to him in the row opposite. We were an hour late taking off, and we had that sinking feeling that we would not make our connection to Portland.

To add insult to injury, they ran out of meals by the time they got to our row. My half a sandwich did not hold up for the six hours that I was on the plane. I had a protein bar in my purse which got me through, but I was in major meltdown mode by the time we got off the plane in Phoenix. I did get this poor photograph of an exquisite sunset as we flew into Phoenix.

Our choices were to have standby for the later flight to Portland or stay in a hotel and have confirmed seats in the morning. I really wanted to go home. We did not have our luggage, and really, who can make a decision with low blood sugar. After sitting down and eating a chicken Caesar salad and drinking a big glass of wine, my good sense returned and we took the night in the hotel and flew home this morning.

We saw some beautiful scenery as we flew northwest over the mountains. Much of the land was shrouded in clouds, but occasionally we got some terrific views.

I think today is the first day that I have not cried in a few weeks. It has been an emotional roller coaster since Thanksgiving. Who can explain the melancholy that sometimes envelopes us? Whatever it was — angst over my sister’s plight, my struggles with my health or my feeling that I had lost my way artistically. Whatever it was, I think I am moving beyond. The winter solstice arrives tomorrow with the promise of longer days and light returning.

I wanted to share the poem, When I Am Among the Trees, which was read at my brother-in-law’s service.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness,
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver ~

13 Responses to “The Scenic Route”

  1. Linda Moran says:

    Dear Gerrie, I’ve been thinking about you, through your travels and sad times in New Your. I’m sending white healing light your way, along with wishes for a healthy, productive, sane, wonderful New Year, filled with gorgeous fabrics and loved ones.

  2. rayna says:

    Oh, dear Gerrie – my heart goes out to you. What a difficult trip – both the being there and the (unfortunately typical these days) miserable journey home. I don’t wonder you have been crying — there is too much on your plate. I hope that Mia gets better quickly, along with her parents – but you take care of yourself, too, please.

    I hope that by Christmas things have improved and that next year will be better all the way around.

  3. Sheryll says:

    Sharing the Mary Oliver poem is a great gift this time of year. Thank you and many thanks for sharing your journey. You are inspiration to more than you might guess.

  4. Connie Rose says:

    Glad you’re back home safe and sound. This is a melancholy time of year for many of us, so just go with it. Your creative energy, in all its manifestations, will return soon. Thanks for sharing that beautiful poem…I’ve been sitting still and watching the rain a lot lately, with the same thoughts in mind.
    Much love for a warm and bright holiday!

  5. dee says:

    So glad you’re home and that things are looking a bit brighter day by day. I saw the moon eclipse last night and thought about how long I’ve been sad and what’s ahead for me. Things are evolving slowly but surely. I will be happy to say goodbye to this year and hello to 2011 in which I hope we all can find joy again.
    Beautiful poem.

  6. jenclair says:

    Having such a long, difficult trip is never good, but when you are grieving and depressed and hungry, it would be enough to put anyone over the edge. Glad to hear that you were able to enjoy the scenery on the last of the trip and hope you will continue to feel better.

    This poem is a favorite, and I can see that it would be both appropriate and comforting as a farewell. Wishing you increasing in joy as you recover from your grief, Gerri.

  7. Vicki W says:

    …and my Mom wonders why I want to take a train to Rhode Island in April instead of flying. Your story is exactly why! I’m glad you are home and I hope you get to have a nice and peaceful Christmas.

  8. I’m so glad you are home safe and sound. I bet you will start feeling better in your cozy nest. The days will start getting brighter for you.

  9. Karen Rips says:

    Glad you’re home safely, and maybe you can let your art heal you a bit.

  10. I love the poem! I am glad to hear you made it home. What a crazy journey!

  11. Jeannie says:

    With the new year comes new hope. Sending you hugs and wishes for a beautiful holiday with your family. I love that poem.

  12. Terry Grant says:

    Glad you are home finally. Lovely poem. Mary Oliver is wonderful.

  13. KathieB says:

    It’s been a dark December in many ways, hasn’t it? I’m welcoming the solstice and looking forward to more light in our lives SOON.