This painting on a small wood plate is called "Night" and was created by Katrin Wiese, the same artist who painted "The Three Fates" of a previous post. I photographed it up close to get the detail.
What drew me to this? I feel like I could be that little girl, venturing into the unknown night, protecting the goose's eggs, at ease with a bear at her side. Bears have often barged into my dreams. In one of the most memorable dreams I asked for and got permission to borrow a baby bear. So while I wouldn't try that in the real world, it was magical in dreamland.
One more alluring thing about this painting, that alert horse and goose look just like bronze animals my father brought home long ago from what was then Czechoslovakia. I loved to play with them, imaging worlds that were mine alone to visit and explore.
All of which brings me to memories. It seems to be what we treasure most. And it made me think of the people who had to evacuate the monster wildfire above Los Angeles. The ravenous beast, 25-miles-wide and 18-miles-deep, has consumed houses, cars, motorcycles, pine trees, sycamores, manzanita, rabbits, squirrels and, may they rest in peace, two firefighters. Terrifying and out-of-control, these wildfires sometimes leave people with little time to grab what they can and flee. It's the memories, the photos and heirlooms, they want to keep.
If a fire or storm or earthquake consumed all the photos of my family members, the china they raised to their lips, the Persian rugs they walked upon until threadworn, the golden rings and silver bracelets they wore, would I drown in tears? Or would I board a little boat on a salty sea and search for wonder in the night?
Perhaps that is the gift writers can give the world--a sense of hope in the dark.