The Way Back & Beyond, by Wendy DeRaud

"Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up." - Pablo Picasso


There is a place I want to visit a lot more often.


It is on the edge of my dreams and at the entrance to Fairyland. I have been there before, but my memories have faded and I've forgotten its landscape and climate.

There is a place that if I shut my eyes tightly enough and imagine where the fragrance of roses is made, where sunshine mixes well with sea breezes, where I can be barefoot and sing out loud while I walk, I might catch a glimpse of a glimmer, but then it disappears again, into the blackness.




"Journey to the Beyond", Prismacolor, 1981, Wendy Mellor (DeRaud)




Somewhere along the way we were given the impression that life is supposed to look a certain way, expecting a certain outcome that was predetermined by what we saw with our own eyes. The external world around us expected something from us, and created a pattern that we were to follow.

We may have known but then forgot to look in unlikely places, like inside our own soul, our own heart and its internal caverns and crannies, to find the way to go. Instead we were given someone else's plan, a cloned and clever blueprint, a one-size-fits- all kind.

Because of this, it was easy to forget what we once knew, when we were young and full of life and hungry for adventure, when it was enough to build our own fort and find safety and shelter under our collection of blankets and sheets, to forage our strength from the wild places in our own gardens, set out on our voyage on the high seas of our fertile imaginations, with the whims of our passions and dreams to guide us.

Most of all, we may have forgotten our histories, our stories, and the inner dialogue between ourselves and the Other, who is gathering us to Himself and giving us everything we need for our journey.

Some days I remember what it felt like from the beginning, before I thought I heard someone tell me I was wrong, before I forgot that I knew myself and what felt right and made me feel at home.



So searching for the hidden treasures that I want to share with others is just that, the way to remember what we once knew all the time: the wonder, the miracle, the constantly throbbing beauty of life, the pulse and expectancy of hope. The curtains that open to the celebration of a day, the day of the first meeting, the first sight, the first crush, when the one we've been waiting for has arrived.



That's where you can find those flowers for your bouquet. In the searching is how you see, and in the seeing, you will find the way in, the way back home, and beyond.




"Homeward Bound," Prismacolor, 1981, Wendy Mellor (DeRaud)