On a recent birthday, I unwrapped a book of poetry from my friend, Margie. Attached to the front was a card, even more prized than the gift itself – one of her watercolors. Its delicate beauty held my stare as I breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly. Her sketches have that effect on me, a calming kind of presence similar to meditation.
Her handwriting on the bottom clues me in that she created this piece on Mother's Day (2018) at the Shrine – The Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, Alaska – one of our shared favorite spaces.
Before moving to Juneau from Arkansas , I had never been a hiker or much of an outdoors person at all. Margie, a born-and-raised Juneaunite, kindly invited me to join her for treks up Mt. Roberts, Thunder Mountain, along Pt. Bridget Trail, East and West Glacier Trails and more. I pretended I knew what I was doing; Margie knew better, but never let on. Our friendship grew as non-stop conversations led us from trailheads to trail ends.
I knew even less (nothing) about labyrinths when Margie invited me to walk the one on the beach at the Shrine. I trusted her that walking around what looked like a never-ending path, would be a worthwhile experience. I had no way of knowing, of course, that a connection to labyrinths would transform my life ten years later.
Margie's watercolor of the labyrinth
at the Shrine of St. Therese in Juneau, Alaska
Throughout the years, I have been privileged to glimpse pages of Margie's visual journals as she's filled them with her "many interests and curiosities." She rarely publishes her work, but creates them to fulfill her own creative spirit and to share with close friends and family members. She gave me permission to share a few of my favorites here.....
Margie and I both stepped out of our comfort zones when I wrote and she illustrated my 2017 book Labyrinth Journeys ~ 50 States, 51 Stories. In addition to the examples shown here, her twenty pen and ink sketches include a pine cone, rose, teacup and saucer, footsteps, sprig of lavender and peace pole.
All key pieces of the journey.
Each one a story in itself.
A friend and an artist – I'm grateful to have both in my life, and delighted to share her joyful art with you.