Last summer, with little advance notice, my two elder daughters moved out of the house.
And with my fourth born off in Asia visiting my globe-trotting third-born, I found myself, for at least a few weeks, sitting on an empty nest.
Now granted, I had no right to be shocked. My daughters had lived at home for far more years than most parents enjoy, and it was high time they were off on some new adventures.
And my fourth born was just on vacation. Two weeks and she'd be right back.
But the effect was powerful. And much to my own surprise, I fell into an emotional tailspin.
The epicenter of my malaise sat squarely in my older daughters' now-empty bedroom. As logic would dictate, they had taken all the life out of that room, and the best belongings to boot, and left behind a sad, stripped down, and worn out bedroom
After a few days of utter shock and deep sadness, I got busy.
I corralled their cast off items into spare storage space in the garage, rearranged what was left of the furniture, and got busy filling in the empty places they had left behind.
As I whipped up my to do lists and whistled around town, my mood improved and my heart soared. I was building a new room, a new place for them to come home to, and I felt much better.
And almost instantly, a series of paintings took shape in my brain.
The images I saw were specific and clear.
For several weeks, I thought about them, planning out the colors, shapes, lines. I did mathematical calculations, and drew them out on graph paper.
And then I began to paint.
This is the first one.