The woman and the saint

Years upon years ago I spent a fair amount of time training for and running in marathons.  These races and my relationships with those with whom I trained kept me quasi-sane through the early years of motherhood, which like many, I often found challenging and quite lonely.  In the long run, so to speak, I ran 7 of these races which afforded me the opportunity to travel now and then, and fund raise a bit,  keep healthy and even do some soul searching along the way.  At that time, it was the right kind of slow therapy I needed.  Those miles led me to the more real version of me, they helped me find the courage to let my artist-self shine and eventually, I gave up the long distances to walk more in the woods, spend more time sketching, and somehow earn an art degree.

Recently, at the suggestion of a long-time and dear friend, I have dipped my toe back into the idea of running-to-race by committing to a local half-marathon.  This means that I needed to go beyond my jogs ’round the neighborhood and do some longer runs on the weekend.  These runs would train us up for the big day and give us a few hours every weekend to chat, laugh and catch up with each other, something we hadn’t found time to do in ages.  The extra miles have been taxing on my legs but by throwing into the mix some kayaking and cycling through the week to ‘cross-train’, somehow I’ve managed.  This past week we successfully ran 11 miles together and that is the last of the Big Long Runs before the race.  Hoorah for ‘tapering!’

It’s been lovely to run the streets of our fair Queen City and see the mornings come alive as we tick off the miles.  At the tail end of yesterday’s Big Run, we were passing a local church and this lovely scene caught my artist-eye and I nearly stopped in my tracks.

woman and a saint

Here was a statue of Saint Mary, nestled into the side wall of the building in a wee niche (my mom would call her Mary on the Half-Shell), and seated at her feet was a lovely woman in a crisp white sari, trimmed in blue.  Something about this scene captured my imagination.  But as we were running, we couldn’t very well stop for an artful photograph, let alone a sketch!  And so, this drawing is one from my mind’s eye, the details perhaps not quite right.



The woman in the sari was readying to answer her mobile phone which was ringing out a lovely Indian sounding ring-tone.  She may have been waiting for Mass to begin, or perhaps she was resting in the niche with Mary for a spell while she waited for the metro-bus.  Regardless of her story, just the glimpse of the two of them there in that brief moment was a lovely sight to see.  And so this morning, I visited that space again, in the land of my imaginings, and made a little drawing.  This is a small painting, only 5″x7″.  It is indeed for sale if it speaks to you.

detail 2



Speaking of selling little drawings, check back here in the next week or so.  I’ll be offering some things for sale to help fund my writer-in-residence post in Taos this upcoming winter.  These will be sketches and Ginger post-card options, and maybe even an ethereal bunny or two…. I’ll keep you posted!

In the mean time, while we all seem to be running through our lives be it to Fit It All In, or to train for the Next Big Race, let’s take the time to note and perhaps record the sacred in the mundane should we be fortunate enough to come across it.  I’d love to see what you come up with!

6 thoughts on “The woman and the saint”

  1. Beautiful story and beautiful little painting!

    And, you know, it always makes me feel better to hear other mothers say how lonely they were when their children were little. For a long time I thought I was the only one. That was years and years and years ago now, but I still remember feeling rather ashamed of myself, as if being a full-time, stay-at-home mom should have been reward and fulfilling enough. Of course, it’s not! I know that know. But then? Lonely and a little guilty for feeling that way.

    And now? 7 grandchildren, three happy adult children and lots of time to be ME!

    1. It’s kind of an unspoken truth for a lot of moms. It was not lost on my how fortunate I was to be home with them. We are all eternally grateful for that situation and for my husband’s work (most of it, thankfully from home, which got me through art school!!) but like any intense job filled with endless responsibility and where your heart is all in, there were difficult times. I think women need other women more than they realize. We moved a lot and so that village mentality wasn’t available as much as I could have used it. But I was lucky to have a few good friends (one actually came over from Spain to help deliver my second!!), and healthy kids, and a supportive husband. Once I found art and balance and boundaries, I was a much healthier mama for sure. Grandkids….. someday perhaps!! Yours are lucky to have such a cool gran I think!!!

  2. Lovely post. Wishing you a wonderful Queen Bee run tomorrow. Wish too that I were running it – but will just aim for the Pig in the spring. Meanwhile, these long runs with women friends keep us sane, and often in awe.

    1. Lisa, so true! I have really enjoyed upping my miles a bit, not so much to accomplish the race itself, but to keep up with an old friend. It was worth the effort! I managed a 2:05 which isn’t bad considering the shin splints. 🙂 Best of luck in the flying pig next spring!

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