by cheri sabraw
Yesterday, the sky was special. I had to take off my sunglasses to make sure of it.
The blue was deep and rich, which accented the vaporous bright white shapes of the clouds like a velvet curtain of French ultramarine.
In my small painting of a massive Hereford steer up to his belly in grass, I decided to float the clouds right onto his face and point the viewer’s eyes up the hill by way of dead weeds.
This painting is meant to be peaceful.
You see what I mean about that sky and those clouds. This gate opens to a place I have never visited. Oh sure. I could hoist my little body over the gate and walk along, seeking out photographic gems as I often do ( to honor my father Hugh), but the specter of baby rattlesnakes, of odd property owners, of mountain lions and of bobcats deters me. The oaks do beckon though. “Hello girls!”
At home, after serving myself a spicy fish taco and a tall glass of iced tea with a wedge of lemon floating above the ice for survival, Dinah and I trek up the mountain road to see how the maternity ward is doing.
All of us women who have carried a baby to full term can appreciate the weight of that burden on the ankles. In my case, I spent most of my pregnancies oiling my belly with lotions and potions to avoid stretch marks. Those were the days when my belly was as smooth as a honeydew melon. Now, an over ripened cantaloupe is more descriptive.
In the cool shade of a California oak tree stands this swollen Angus woman bearing the weight with grace. Her shadow reminds us of the precious life cycle in which we participate–some wittingly and some unwittingly.
The maternity ward is quiet today. At this precise moment in time, cud-chewing is out. The clouds float by, the oaks stop their whispering, the fence stands up straighter, and three women etch out what it means to be stalwart.
Dinah and I, for once, feel the need to be quiet too. No barking (Dinah), no talking out to the bull or the bluebirds (me).
Wherever you are today–in the glorious fog or the parching heat, in the windy valley or the confines of a room filled with bickering lawyers–perhaps a devotional to the sublime or, at the very least, homage to a oatmeal raisin cookie might be in keeping.