My Creative Journey



Posted on 05/27/2014 at 10:01am

 I once had the honor of caring for a tiny pair of green and speckled white birds called Star Finches.  The local pet store saw me as a potential bird owner and informed that me if I wanted them, they would also include a cage and enough food for months for just $100. Although I had never owned birds, I felt like I was rescuing them from some unknown fate. They were delightful creatures from the start. They would sing to each other all day everyday when the were not sleeping or eating,  and when they were nesting, they would do an amazing courtship dance for one another. The male, or perhaps it was the female, I never knew which was which, would hold a 4 or 5 inch long piece of nesting material that I had provided.  It would hold it in its beak with the very tip of it dangling down, and then proceed to sway it back and forth rhythmically, all the while singing to its lovely mate. Gradually he would begin to lift it up higher while his song became intense and glorious as he moved very close to the partner. Then the partner would take hold of the material at the other end, and together they would add it to the nest. Over and over they repeated this ritual during the nest building. They never had any eggs, but they seemed to love building their nest. For five years I listened to their delightful singing. When we moved into our new home, they both died within a day. I wondered if it was toxic fumes from the building materials that were still in the air, or perhaps at such an old age the change was too much. I loved them. I felt awful about losing them. Soon I decided to get another caged bird,  a canary named Harry. He was a beautiful golden color and had a song, but he would only sing when other sounds were happening such as water running or music playing, or lots of talking, and he lived for 7 years. I enjoyed owning caged birds, but I don’t think I will ever do it again. I began to feel very sad they were in a cage, so now I have binoculars, and I enjoy watching them whenever I am outdoors. 

Beautiful bluebirds, Baltimore Orioles, Orchard Orioles, Goldfinches, Chickadees, 2 different varieties of Nuthatches, Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Red Head Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Purple Finches, Mockingbirds, Bluejays, Towhees, Flickers, Robins, Ruby Throat-ed Hummingbirds, Pilate-d Woodpeckers, Summer Tanagers, the mighty Hawks, Owls, wily Crows, strange buzzards, and large wild turkeys. One day I was sitting outside on my porch and watching before all the leaves had come out on the trees, and I saw seven  different colorful birds all in the same tree making a huge fuss. I watched as the bright yellow male Goldfinch, gorgeous Bluebird with his red breast, Bright red  Cardinal,  Orange and black Oriole, and several others flitted back and forth squawking away all in the very same tree! I knew this was unusual and something was going on there, so I decided to investigate. I walked down the hill to where they were all flitting around in the tree, and I was startled when I saw, very close at eye level,  a huge black snake draped on one of the lower branches of the tree. He slithered up the tree further as I watched. Sadly, I was sure that he was threatening their nests. I could do nothing, but I was glad I was witness to the sight of all those different species of colorful male birds that to me looked like ornaments in a tree gathering together, supporting each other like people of different races who join together as an army to fight a threatening foe. I will never forget that amazing sight. It was a gift.

Post Script: Although I wrote the above over a year ago and did not publish it, I was amazed when this past week I was witness to the same strange occurrence in the world of birds. Walking back from the lower garden on a dew laden, cool, early spring morning,  I noticed brightly colored, completely different species of male birds again all in the same tree that stands beside the creek, chirping, squeaking and carrying on such a fuss. Only the male Bluebird was flying, diving low, swooping towards his bird house that we had made for him. I stood silently and watched, fearing that something was very wrong. Suddenly, I noticed with alarm what was causing this mighty disruption, another large snake was now draped across the top of the Bluebirds nesting box! I slowly walked toward it but as soon as it noticed me, it slithered through the opening and went inside the box!  Perhaps I can get it out! Quickly I ran to the house to get a screw driver to loosen the door on the side of the birdhouse. When I returned, all the male birds had now moved to another tree where they felt safe watching me. I opened the box quickly, and there was the snake curled tightly up in the tiny nest. Using the screwdriver I pushed him onto the ground,  he looked at me, as if to say, “Why did you do that?” all the while smelling me by sticking out his long, forked tongue. He was several feet long and had interesting shades of grey in a diamond pattern all along the length of  his body. I told him  “Please go away and leave the birds nest alone.” He slithered into the tall grass, never stopping to look back at me.  I stood and waited as the male Bluebird came back and while standing on top of his house, he was straining to look inside at his now empty nest. I am not sure he will trust that nest again this spring, too risky for he and his beautiful mate. We will build more nesting boxes for them. The snakes here are here to stay, they eat rodents and occasionally our chickens eggs. I just wish they would leave the birds alone. Snakes are protected in the state of Tennessee. We live in such a magnificent universe of interesting and strange creatures. It is such a gift to observe them in there native world. No more cages for my birds.

My husband Dan installing new Bluebird houses along the creek

My husband Dan installing new Bluebird houses along the creek



My last bird story… One time years ago, I found a nest in a tree. What amazed me about it was that around the rim of the grey twig nest the tiny bird had placed around the rim at the top of the nest, 3 or 4 perfect, bright red, feathers (probably from a Cardinal). The speckled eggs in the nest were those of a common sparrow, but that bird had decorated his nest with them! It was something else that will be always imprinted on my memory. Nature has so much to share. We are not the only creatures  on earth who love, sing, gather together as one to help against a common foe, dance rhythmically with joy as we create, and as true artists in our short earthly lives, we all have decorated our nest.

My Paintings of some of the different birds that live on our property, on each of the stair-risers to my upstairs studio

My Paintings of some of the different birds that live on our property, on each of the stair-risers to my upstairs studio







Posted on 04/07/2014 at 2:39pm

Arriving at the beach on Hilton Head Island early one Saturday morning, when the tide was out and  hardly anyone was there except a few people walking in the crisp, cool morning air. My little, white Maltese dog was so excited and ready to run free. Taking off her leash, with music playing loud in my ears with a rocking rhythm, I began power walking and dancing my way up the beach with the sun glistening on the water and sand.  Turning around and making sure she was following me, she was keeping me in her sight as she let me get further and further away, and then as fast as a rocket, she would tear after me with her long white fur blowing straight back as she ran full speed to catch up. Again and again she played that game, wait, stop, and sniff, run fast after me, wait again, then run fast after me again. We did that until we had arrived at a craggy rock pier, a mile and a half or so from where we had started. Distracted by the sights and smells of the interesting rocky area we had reached, she disappeared, but when I started heading back and called the distance for her to come again, she popped up from between the giant rock crevices that dwarfed her tiny body, and tore after me again. Sunshine

Our morning walk at the beach was now over.  Thirsty and exhausted, we headed to the car.  I reached for my keys but when I did my iPhone was missing! It had slipped out of the case I keep it in somewhere on the miles of sandy beach! I was upset, and with the tide coming in and the crowds arriving, could I possibly find it again? I pictured it laying in the sand with the incoming tide now washing over it, or now that the crowds were arriving, someone stepping on it and burying it deeper in the sand. I immediately put a leash on my little dog and  walked back down to the beach announcing to everyone who was there as I went, “I have lost my iPhone! Please let me know if anyone finds an iPhone on the beach somewhere!” During this frustrating point in time I did something that I have learned to do when I begin to feel sudden panic or insecurity about things seemingly going awry in my life.  I stop for a moment, look up, and refocus my mind, and I think about faith in creative possibilities and divine guidance, and then I silently ask the “unseen” ones around me for their help. I looked down at my tired little dogs dark eyes and told her we now needed to walk up the beach to look for an iPhone. A  young man on the crowded beach yelled to me and said, “Someone said a woman with a child found a cellphone near the rock wall, over a mile away”. Thank heavens, I thought! Now we need to get to her before she leaves the beach! We began to run when I saw 3 people riding bicycles along the shore and asked if they could help me. “No” they said, showing me a watch on one woman’s arm, “We need to be somewhere in 15 minutes.” “Oh well, its okay,” I told them, and we ran further up the now crowded beach. I could barely see the rock wall that juts out into the Atlantic at one end of the Island,  where the young man told me the woman and child were last seen in the distance. I spotted another man coming towards me on a bicycle and asked him if he could possibly turn around and drive his bicycle back up the beach towards the rock wall to see if there was a woman there with a child who had found my iPhone. He kindly agreed, and turned around and headed slowly back down the beach towards the rock wall. My little dog and I continued running our way along the beach after him and suddenly he turned around and headed back before he had reached the craggy rock pier. When he reached me he said “I did not see a woman with a child anywhere.” I then asked him if he had a cell phone that I could use to call my iPhone, he kindly said “Yes”, and handed me the small device. 

I called and a woman answered.  She had found my iPhone at the beach earlier but needed to leave and did not know what to do, so she took it with her. I told her I was glad she did, and that I would get it from her later that afternoon. “Please keep it nearby and I will call you again, and thank you!” I gave the man on the bicycle back his phone, and  I then immediately thought of the miles back up the beach to get back to our car ahead of us with this tiny dog, how exhausted she was, and I quickly laid my sweater in his bicycle basket and picked up my little dog and placed her in the basket on top of it. “Could you please carry her on the bicycle while I walk beside you because she is so tired from running on the the beach”. “I’ll give it a try, he said”, and began by wobbling back and forth almost throwing her out by trying to go slow enough so I could walk beside him, because the extra weight on his front wheel was making him lose his balance.  I was afraid for a moment he would fall over! I then told him, “You need to go much faster to get going! I will run beside you!” Pushing harder, he finally got the old bicycle going along the beach quite well, as I walked quickly beside him while we had our first conversation. He enjoys his job driving a bus for students from a Christian College in Virginia, and when he has days off when they travel to places like Hilton Head, he enjoys going to the beach. He rented his bike from his hotel for only $20 for the entire week. When he became more comfortable with my little dog in his bicycle basket, I glanced at her, and I was pleased to see her sitting comfortably like a queen being driven in her coach. She was definitely enjoying her beach ride with her long white fur blowing back in the wind. I commented that I would like to take a photo while he drove her up the beach in his basket, but my iPhone camera was currently indisposed. I don’t know why, but a lighthearted thankfulness suddenly came over me, perhaps a gift from the “unseen” ones who I imagined were around me now laughing hysterically!

That afternoon when I arranged to finally meet the nice woman who had my iPhone, we chatted for a while and laughed at the interesting ways we meet people when we travel. It is always a challenge when we leave our familiar surroundings. Faith shows us that our actions and reactions can be supported and uplifted by our conscious remembering our spiritual connectedness to all things, and that we can be gently carried along on our path if we take a moment to ask the “unseen” for help, even for finding an iPhone on miles of beach sand on a crowded Saturday morning.

 The Beach


Posted on 02/26/2014 at 10:32am

Awakening from deep slumber, as the grey, winter sky obscures uplifting messages from beyond this world, I remind myself to pay close attention. Try not to allow weakening thoughts of doubt, regret, fear and disappointment that are looming in the recesses of mind this time of year to enter and take me downward. Using my imagination, I try to see myself walking confidently as an inner guide points the way.

In a light filled moment the circumstances that brought the wavering can be lost, and the journey made quite clear again.  As I listen carefully to the leading’s, they become more distinct.

“Nurture the positive energy guiding you.

Shine the light of thankfulness, caring, and creativity outward, as it fills the shadows of your mind.

Plan for life. Write down your wildest dreams, and picture them as clearly as you can.

Sort through memories of past inspiration.  Give them a chance at another life.

If those first awakening thoughts enter your mind, the ones that made you look downward, stop for a moment and look up with thanksgiving, beyond the confines of this space and time to give you the wings to lift you up again to a world of infinite possibilities.

Let go of hurt. Let go of anger. Joy is here, waiting to be expressed as you. This day, and evermore.”










Your friend,




Posted on 03/27/2013 at 10:27am

Star Magnolia  300When I stepped out the front door first thing in the morning, a frost clung to every blade of grass. My down-lined parka held back the north wind as flurries of snow melted as they touched my skin. March is a very unsettled month here, changing by the minute. It is windy, cold and snowy, with a darkness that seems oppressive, and then within an hour it can be so bright and sunny that all of the frost will melt, tiny flowers show their heads, the birds begin chirping, and baby bunny rabbits come out from their sleep from under the barn porch and start hip-pity hopping to every corner of the yard. Those changes are ones I can see and anticipate from prior years, but choices and unsettled changes in my own life are giving me reason to remind myself of some lessons taught to me long ago.

When I am getting ready to do something totally different than I usually do, a change in my life’s routine,  the anticipation can be fraught with emotion such as excitement or anguish, my heart can race, and sometimes it can overwhelm my spirit.  Like a child I want to pull back from those changes that are so sure to come blasting into my life, in spite of my reluctance to go through them.  I have noticed something interesting, however, my reactions to those incessant changes is becoming one of total acceptance. Through willful concentration on all that is positive and true in my life, I walk with a continual awareness that nothing ever stays the same. The newness of those changes is like the calm after a storm. It is that feeling of knowing that all is well, that I have never walked this life path alone.

Be careful what you wish for.”

“What you think about, comes about.”

“We are creating our lives with our every thought.

These are well-worn quotes I learned in my youth that I refer to often. These thoughts that are creating the changes in my life are making me into who I am at this very moment. I cannot separate myself or turn away from my own thoughts. Once I can take a moment and look back on these life changes, they will never have the same feeling they had when I was anxiously going through them. It is the emotion that brings the excitement and sometimes the anguish, all for naught. When the changes come again, as they surely will, I will be reminding myself once again to use my thought power to center myself to bring strength, instead of letting myself get carried away by emotions that that have nothing to do with those changes. They come no matter how I feel.

I am reminded of a song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. This version from YouTube is by The Three Tenors, such wonderful voices in harmony with each other.

There are two new Excursions for Artists, Writers, and Explorers in 2013. If you are one of those people who loves to travel,  we would enjoy having you join us. Please fill out the Contact the Artist form on this website. A monthly newsletter will announce additions to “Writing from the Road” and will have updates about all I am currently working on. (signup for that is below) Thank you for following my career as an artist, writer, and explorer. Please, join me! I look forward to hearing from you!



Posted on 12/10/2012 at 1:48pm

Traditions are wonderful. I always loved decorating cookies at Christmas with my bothers and sisters. I can remember that my Mother would work very hard creaming the butter by hand, and slowly adding the sifted powdered sugar, until it would make a sweet creamy batter, after adding the egg, flour, vanilla, she would then chill it down in the refrigerator, which made a dough that was perfect for rolling out with a rolling pin to be cut into all sorts of fun shapes of different kinds. Then, after baking for only 5 minutes in the hot oven, they were cooled, and the whole family would sit around the dinning room table and spend hours decorating them with bowls of colored butter creme frosting and sprinkles. We were only allowed to eat a few of them each day before Christmas, savoring every bite, because we knew we would not have them again for another year.

Now my Mother has gone on, but a few years before she died, I started the tradition again at my home. I invite my sisters, friends and neighbors over for a glass or two of spiked eggnog, and this year I  made a delicious Turkey Tortilla Soup, that we each had a bowl of, while we worked. I could hear my Mothers voice in my mind admonishing me as I worked on the cookie baking, “Sprinkle more flour on the board before rolling out the dough, Sharon, and put some on the rolling pin too!” Christmas movies, such as, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart played in the background, as well as others, “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase, and “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby . “Watch the cookies!” I heard her say again, “They burn  so easily!”  Although it was almost 70 degrees outside, it felt almost like the Christmas seasons I remember as a child on Grand Island, New York, at this, my house now, close to the Kentucky border of middle Tennessee, 50 years later.


These traditions, that allow us to remember our past, show us that our future can have the same wonderful joy-filled moments if we bring them with us into the present.

My gift to you this Christmas season is the recipe, written in my Mothers hand, for the Christmas cookies that I have enjoyed sharing and making with friends and family all these years. May your own traditions bring you as many joy filled moments as these continue to for me!



Posted on 11/23/2012 at 3:54pm

Hi Carol,

Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I am sorry I have not written sooner. You were on my mind before I wrote you that text a few weeks ago, and then when I received the information that your Mom had finally passed, I was slammed by my Studio Tour and many other responsibility’s, and did not get to tell you that I am so very sorry. I too lost my Mom this year. How strange we lost our Mom’s the very same year. Now we both have fathers who are lonely and very sad. I am still now realizing that it will be difficult for me to come to terms with my Mothers sudden death. She was here, then gone, so quick. I was busy painting, planning another trip to France, and many other things in my life were happening. I really did not have time to give her death much thought. Now I am paying a price for that. I think about her so often now. Much more than I did when she was alive. She would call me rarely, never wanting to disturb my busy life, and now I wish she was here, so she could. Although your Mom deteriorated for many years with Alzheimer’s , I understand your sadness over the finality. We just need to keep living and loving. Thank heavens we had great ones. Our Mothers were the best. They were both young and beautiful when they had us, and they raised us so well.   ‎I still remember your Mom, she was a  lovely, tiny, dark-haired, very neat woman. Like my Mom, her years were spent raising her children, giving all she had to them. You and I have different lives than they did. We have careers. Thank heavens for careers.

I am in West Virginia right now, visiting my husbands’ family. We have traveled the 500 miles at Thanksgiving every year since we very first met, for over 35 years now.  I have come to love these people who are my second family. So many of the oldest family members have died now, and that means we are getting to be the old ones. There is a farmstead here in West Virginia that was acquired by service in the revolutionary war. That very property is still in the Shaver family, and the ancient family graveyard, up on the hill is where my body will be when I die. (actually, God willing, I plan on being scattered here there and everywhere, the way I am now!) The holy graveyard ground, is a lovely, but at times very sad, old cemetery, up the steep hill, with large holly trees, heavy with their bright red berries this time of year, pushing and shoving all the ancient gravestones in odd poses. There are slaves that worked the old farm years ago, and when they died they are buried at the edge of the cemetery, marked by a jagged standing rock, now covered in moss, with an illegible name carved crudely into it. Babies, only days old were buried here, a few others came to be buried there from the huge mining disaster a few miles away. Some were taken by influenza in the early part of the 1900’s. Now a modern gravestone, in the shape of a bench for two people has been placed for a young woman with breast cancer from the Shaver family who recently passed. That is where I sat contemplating today, with the November sun warming my face. It was dedicated to that lovely young mother, and I said a prayer of Thanksgiving. So many 30 to 40-year-old women seem to be getting cancer these days. I suppose we are the lucky ones Carol. We are still hanging in there and healthy in our 60’s. I know that these years are flying by now, and that we need to be generous, kind, and loving all the time, but sometimes I wonder if it is possible to live up to all that I want to be. So… I live by my  faith in the great hereafter! Hoping that I will have lots more time in eternity to become all that I am destined to be!

Happy Thanksgiving to my dear friend Carol, Love to you always!


The Letter


Posted on 05/01/2012 at 9:17pm












Large moss-covered legs stretch towards me,

Listening as I work, to the constant trickle of  water in the creek that connects the two of us,

Purple Hyacinth and Blue Bells quietly whisper in the gentle breeze,

“Spring has arrived!”

But then another, “Beware, there is a  lion so close in this deep.”

His fierceness is now decorated with delicate purple and blue flower petals, clinging to his long golden mane.  He sits, yawns, and waits.

“Don’t hurry, we both need to linger here.” He growls, as he unexpectedly stands up, turns, and walks slowly away.

“Soon the summer heat will come.”

I would like to follow him now, but, I am startled to see a reflection in the water, of someone I do not recognize. “Who in the world is that?” I wonder, as I turn to look behind myself. No, I am the only one here now, but I see a face looking back at me, much older than I remember.

“When did that happen to me?”

The lion turns slowly, looks back at me, and growls once again, “Follow this, your path, don’t hold on to your reflection any longer. The wisdom acquisition is much more valuable than youth.  You are quickly gaining stature now, within an eternal kingdom.”

Then he turned, shook himself, and all the spring flower petals in his golden mane fell gently to the ground, and then I heard him say to me, “Do not forget to share your knowledge of the only true values of this lifetime. Create only that which you love, and remember, fear is only an illusion, practiced on the evolving mortal soul.”

As he slowly disappears into the deep I let myself cry out, ” It was my fear that brought you here,  now I realize, you too are only an illusion, another I have created. Now, as you leave me, please tell me, how will I ever recognize myself again?”

A booming voice echos from the deep, ” Nothing achieving survival value in this short lifetime, can ever be lost! You and your creations are the illusions. As you change, age, your spirit is gaining in stature even as you are aging, as is meant to be. Don’t hold to the illusion of what was your youth. Memories of what once was, in your life, are only for helping you, they are not for holding you back.”

I turned, looked back at the reflection of myself now missing in the water, and thought of leaving my past behind forever. How hard that is, I thought that is who I was. But now I realize how important it is to leave it, so you can move forward without fear.




Posted on 01/29/2012 at 11:19pm

Everyone has them. They are always older than we are. They are usually smarter than we are, and if you are lucky like my brothers, sisters, and I are, you have great ones that are still around and even married after 60 years. My parents, had 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls. I am the oldest, and I want to take this time to congratulate them for their accomplishments as husband and wife, and as wonderful parents.

To recall childhood memories of things about growing up with these parents, and in such a wonderful family is such a gift. I cherish these things that I lived as a child who was loved and protected.

I am about 4 years old and my lovely mother is standing at the kitchen sink in her spike high heels and dress in about 1956, in our kitchen on Grand Island, New York, and she is harmonizing in her beautiful voice to music on a radio as she washes the dishes. It is one of the moments in my early childhood,  I can never forget. After dinner, my Dad, always with his pipe, tamping and puffing away, would head to the baby grand piano in the living room for an evening concert,  playing a wonderful haunting melody as we children played games. The fireplace often had a fire in it in the wintertime and I remember watching the Ed Sullivan Show, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Mickey Mouse on the console television. Before we would be sent to bed at night, Mom would march us over to Dad’s chair and have each one of us give him a kiss on the cheek, goodnight.

In the long winters, the lake effect snow in upstate New York would pile up around us on Grand Island, but my mother would bundle us up until we could barely move, and send us outdoors in the bright sunlight reflecting on the snow to play.  When we walked the swish, swish, swish sound that our snowsuits made as we walked into the freshly fallen snow, was the only sound we could hear. We would carefully fall backwards to make snow angels before we would jump back up again and race to grab the sled and flying saucers and slide down the small hill in the backyard over and over again. When we finally came in soaking wet, our fingers and toes numb to the bone, dinner was always ready, Chicken and dumplings, spaghetti and meatballs, goulash, meatloaf, stuffed peppers, and wonderful cloud (tapioca)  for dessert were just some of the delicious meals our mother would prepare for us.

In the summertime the surrey with the fringe on top was motorized, and my younger brother would give us rides. Once we had bicycles we would ride them to our friends houses all summer long. On summer evenings, he would play “You are my Sunshine” on the ukulele we had, and we would all sing along and harmonize together. Parcheesi games, zilch, monopoly and rummy are just a few of the games we enjoyed playing. In the summertime dinner was cooked on the grill, shish-kabobs, hot dogs and hamburgers. For breakfast, I loved the cream of wheat; Frosted Flakes; toast with butter, cinnamon and sugar; pancakes; and fried eggs and bacon. Lunch was always delicious, fried baloney with mustard; American cheese on bread, toasted until puffy and golden brown; thuringer sandwiches; fluffernutters; bananas with peanut butter; saltines with butter and sugar; popcorn, and sometimes even root beer floats.

In the fall, we would all get in the car and Dad would drive us all out into the country so we could see the beautiful fall colors of all the trees. We would stop and have a picnic with concord grapes and fresh Macintosh Apples purchased along the roadside. Any remarks like, “she’s touching me again!” from one of us in the back seat,  were always met with a look from Mom that told us that we better not do whatever we were doing, or else!

Dad would take us for speed boat rides on the great Niagara River, dodging the other boats and hitting those giant waves until you felt like you were going to bounce right out of the boat.

So many memories of my childhood I cherish. I would like to let those two wonderful, hardworking, loving, creative people know, that everything you did for us, is appreciated, and I think we had a pretty great time!

Thank you, my parents.

Postscript: A little over 2 weeks after I read this at my parents 60th wedding anniversary party, my  Mother died suddenly at 76 years old. I felt an urgency to write this, and when I read it to her, and my father, and all my adult brothers, and sisters, my Mother smiled beautifully, and thanked me for it. I had no idea she would leave so soon. Once again, I wish to thank her. She was a great mother to me. Hang in there Dad. You still have work to do here.

Copyright 2012 Sharon Rusch Shaver


Posted on 01/02/2012 at 9:36am

I thought I knew something that could help the people I cherish in this life, but I became so sure that no one would listen to me that silence became my friend. That knowledge has continually faded from my memory until only a cold whisper remains when the sad news comes that another one is getting ready to go, or another leaving has just happened.

I want to exclaim, “this is not the last time we will be together!  THIS is the illusion!”

An ending becomes an opportunity to add to the story and give hope.

Fear does amazing things to me. It stops me in my tracks. It makes me forget what I know, who I am, where I am from, and even where I am going. I have read, studied and listened my whole life, searching for truth.  When I first immersed myself in the  knowledge, the intense feeling of uplifting, with all its necessity, was so full of truth, that nothing could possibly diminish it. Everything was different.  All my questions, answered. When something speaks of it now, my soul still resonates with it. I know I will never forget entirely. The knowing will be there when I least expect it. Shinning like the morning sun, and enfolding me like a warm blanket of love in all the sunrises and sunsets of my life. It lives in me, waiting to be recognized until I feel its guidance once again.

Sharing it is my challenge.

I wish everyone who reads these words a very happy, prosperous, healthy, new year.

What if this is only a brief moment in our journey of who we are to become?

Walk with me, the best is yet to be.

Oil on Canvas 14″x11″ Copyright 2011 Sharon Rusch Shaver


Posted on 10/06/2011 at 2:42pm

“Why in the world is that very tan young woman in cobalt blue, short-shorts with canary yellow, tank-top drilling holes in the sand on this beach with a power drill and long attachment?” I ask myself. The Hilton Resort in Sandestin, Florida is where white sand beaches with clear Gulf of Mexico azure blue water are just beyond all of the tall buildings lining the coastline of this well-appointed resort. Tan stucco, with red tile roofs, and landscaped grounds that are designed to impress, are off in the distance as you enter past the gate houses. The golf course winds its way along the road, with inland lakes and large fountain sprays in each. Across Route 98 there is an interesting artificial village called Baytown, with restaurants, bars and shops, all vying for your attention, located by passing through the uniform attended guard gates and is owned and operated by the resort. It has a Key West feel to it with live music coming from all different areas of this fabricated-village that sits at the edge of a small harbor. The nightlife there is fun and lively. Dueling pianos, thumping hard rock, classic rock, all at a variety of authentic-looking places to make you forget who and where you are.  Vacationers and corporate executives share in the excitement of buying expensive drinks and a variety of food, as they run tabs that no one seems to have a limit on. It reminded me of the Holodeck on Star Trek.

Early every morning I would get up and ride my 30-year-old, slightly-rusty, dark green, Free Spirit bicycle with a large wicker basket on the front, past the golf course and tall buildings, park in the bike park in front of the Hilton Hotel, and walk down the narrow boardwalk that led down to the beach. Very few people are there, just a few walkers like me. The water is calm and the air is fresh. Before I head back to my bike,  I talked to the very tan, handsome, shirtless, young man as he has started using his power drill in the sand to put Dark French Ultramarine blue umbrellas in a perfect row. He tells me I will be able to use one of them to give me the shade I will need to do a painting later that day. I was ready to set up that afternoon, and I did three different ones last week while I was there.

Oil on Canvas 11″x14″ Copyright 2011

Beach; Copyright 2011

It was a dark night on the road heading to Grayton Beach when we decided to go to a local bar a few miles from the Sandestin Resort. Small, one story, old, white-washed wood, beach bungalows, line the sand-covered narrow streets. The Red Bar was crowded this Wednesday evening. An Elvis impersonator was performing and the locals were ready to party. Why did I want a cigarette? I don’t smoke, but I asked a young woman standing outside, smoking with some friends, if I could have one of her cigarettes. She smiled at me, and said “Sure.” and then took one out of her purse and gave me a light. I took a long draw on it, only into my mouth, tasting the hot smoke, and quickly blew it back out, continually puffing away until it was down to just the filter. I now had new friends. They offered to buy me a shot of Patron Tequila to go with my smoking. Here I go again. Sometimes I am faced with an image of myself that makes me want to close my eyes, but suddenly I open them wide anyway, and stare right back at me doing things I would never normally do. Elvis has begun sounding more like himself. I, on the other hand, am now someone I have just recently met, and would like to get to know better. Who is that woman, smoking a cigarette, drinking a shot of Patron Tequila, and moving her hips dancing to Elvis in an old Grayton Beach, Florida beach bar? I will never forget her.

   Beach 11″x14″ Oil on Canvas Copyright 2011

Finz 11″x14″ Oil on Canvas Copyright 2011

I invite you to travel with me to France next June. Click on the masthead at the top for links to the itinerary, or go directly to my website below, I look forward to sharing one of these trips I take with you!


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