One of the reasons I wanted Max to sell our catering company Presentation Is Everything was for me to follow my own dream of painting by the sea.
When we sold the company and moved to Martini Cove Island, I bought paints, paper, brushes and a straw hat with a pink ribbon and painted many beautiful scenes around the island. But as I tell in my book THE PINOCCHIO RING, fate moved us head on, past my dreams into a mystery. We realized the island was not the sort of place we wanted to live in and we escaped to Mexico. I lost the dream, fell down the rabbit hole and stopped painting, my heart broken.
One day as I sat in my garden here in Mexico, I watched a spider spinning a web in a big overgrown cactus. Every day, as I passed her, I remembered Grandma Spider is the symbol of creativity in Native American tradition and thought about my creativity, painting.
But then, Enrique, the gardener, told me the cactus had to be cut back because it was too big and in danger of toppling. I was afraid the spider would loose her home but Enrique said he would use a broom handle to move her to another spot. When he did, she ran away and disappeared. I remembered my shattered dreams of the island and cried.
Enrique cut the cactus way down to a short “Y” shape. It had to be done.
Several days later, when I passed the cactus again, there was the spider in a brand new web in the “Y”! Grandma Spider was back and it started me thinking I could come back to my own dream of painting, not by the sea but in my lush garden.
Then I got an email from Aunt Daisy a couple of weeks ago telling me she is now starting a new career at 83 writing an advice column for the local paper. She is inspirational. If she can start a new career at her age, couldn’t I start painting again? It was time to climb out of the rabbit hole.
I dusted off my paint box, got brushes and paper out, and started painting the many lovely plants in my garden. The fountain trickles, birds sing, I hear the clopping of horses’ hooves outside the garden wall and the men on the cart with earth to sell shouting, “Tierra, tierra!” Salsa, our Chihuahua’s soft warm little body is resting on my foot, a gentle breeze cools me, a glass of iced tea is within reach.
I may not be painting scenes on the island as I had dreamed I would, but this is good, too. Besides, Enrique is really cute and wears shorts and no shirt while he’s up on the ladder trimming leaves. I don’t even mind that he’s shaped all the ficus trees into chicken topiaries!