From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Story of Lera, or Where Love Resides

I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible."
— John Steinbeck (East of Eden)


I have written a series of blogs about a woman I met recently, she lived in this house, and died in 1988.  As I scrolled my facebook page, I saw the photo of this little house as a profile picture for a friend, and it is difficult for me to describe how the image impacted me.  I paint in oils, self expression being one of the driving forces of my make-up, and I immediately knew I had to paint a work depicting this house.  It struck me as so full of warmth and love... and when I say "struck me," I mean a physical experience that felt a bit overwhelming.  I immediately began to ask questions of my friend Jill concerning whose house it was, what the person was like, how many children they had... because I knew instantly the woman who lived in this house had many children...  I asked about the flowers that she grew, because I knew that she had, and many other questions, and so that day I met Lera for the first time.  There is much to tell of Lera, but the most important part is that she loved, and loved deeply and unconditionally.

One of my favorite books is East of Eden, by John Steinbeck, and there is a favorite quote of mine from that book that perfectly fits Lera;   "I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”

That quote is so true of Lera, I have found that though she left this world long ago, she had so much love that she remains "indestructible."  She resides in another house now, but her heart was so filled with love it could not all be taken with her, and the left overs are scattered all over North Carolina, and probably the world, but this little house is one of the repositories of her love.  My husband has asked me where I would like to go for a vacation when he comes home, he loves me so, and wishes to provide for me something special as he returns home from two years of deployment in the Middle East, he suggested Costa Rica, Disneyworld, and other places, but I know where I want to go.

So watch my blog, Jill had all kinds of pictures of Lera and things connected to her, and for the next two weeks Jill and I are going to take the time to introduce you to Lera, ... you will never be the same.