This time of year, with its shortening days and cooler evenings, brings with it the excitment of fall, made bittersweet by the winding down of summer. Each year, after weeks of running wild and barefoot in the woods behind my childhood home, I eagerly returned to school. I loved the challenge and creativity and structure of it. The balance of both excitement and sadness also echos my feelings about my own kids growing up and moving away.
I painted "Emerging from the Woods" years ago on Monhegan Island. It symbolized, for me, my son's stepping out of boyhood and toward adulthood. Now that he and his sister have finished high school, whole new adventures await them.
As an art therapist, I learned to look into my own work for insight on things I was not able or ready to recognize about my own life and growth. When I painted this I didn't realize I was already mourning the movement of their lives within our family home into their own, bigger worlds.
Looking back on it, I will take the placement of the lighthouse as a clue that I know they are on a good path, and guided by light.