Lucy Dickens - "Nature's Rhythm"

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Artist: Lucy Dickens
Title: Nature's Rhythm
Medium: oils
Dimensions: 30"h x 24"w

As I completed this painting, I learned the Arizona Wallow Fire was raging out of control, becoming the largest forest fire in Arizona. The fire was finally extinguished after destroying over 350,000 acres of gorgeous high desert and lush forest land and forced over 7,000 people from their homes. My heart aches for all those whose lives and livelihoods have been affected by this burning hurricane in which smoke reached as far away as Iowa. The loss of Arizona’s pristine forests and the sheer devastation of it all just made me want to cry out. I can’t even believe the timing of my last two paintings featuring Greer, how uncanny it feels to put the final brush stokes to canvas on my last painting, Living Waters, as I hear the Greer Lodge has burned, such a historic landmark of this beautiful little town. Then, just weeks later I put the final strokes on canvas for my next painting, Nature’s Rhythm, as I hear the town is under mandatory evacuation due the massive forest fire. This scene is on the property of some of our very best friends. I remember walking out on the deck of my beautiful friend’s mountain river retreat and was captivated by the wonder in front of me. I felt such awe as I gazed upon vibrant green grasses, towering pine trees and heard the music; the rhythm of birdsong, breeze through the needles and the rushing of the pristine water over the rocks. What a healing place, one to sooth the soul and refill the tanks. No one can stay here and not be touched by the magic surrounding you. I walked across the field of grass, past the artful sculptures and the Labyrinth made from river rock to stand on the bridge before me. I inhaled deeply, the sweet smell of pine filled me and a calm transcended. It is here taking in beauty in a state of gratitude that peace and a knowing fills my spirit. I am so very thankful their beautiful sanctuary was spared and yet so saddened by the loss of others in their mountain community. Tragedy strikes and yet I know that the rhythm of life includes dark and light, highs and lows, tragedy and celebration. What is one without the other? Rebirth and renewal come out of the ashes of trials and heartache. It is through our trials that we have the opportunity to grow the most. There is a plan and a purpose in all things and greater good then emerges…when we trust, when we stand in faith, even when we don’t understand the “why” of it all, even as we grieve. In closing, I share with you one of my very favorite versus, especially in times of trouble. May it speak to your heart as well as mine. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the PEACE of God which transcends all things, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ. Philippians 4:6-7