They rose early in the morning, following the River Aude. Spring had brought the South of France to life and, though still stunned by what had happened on the mountaintop, she was eager to see her boy. She thought of the celebration the spring before as he entered his 12th year and wondered where the time had gone. So different from his father and yet, in many ways, she understood him and all that moved through his quiet heart. His mind and all he would bring forward were a marvel.
While they were still many miles away she heard the plaintive howls of the wolf, their constant companion who never left the boy's side, and she knew they had to pick up their pace. She remembered the shadowed signs in the skies over her valley the night before. The soldier who had become her friend took her hand and they moved more quickly through the cool of the early morning, the cries of the wolf growing every louder.
She saw Grey, the wolf, first by the shore and called out to him. But she did not need his answer. She saw, at the precise time his howl became a soft whimper, the body of her boy floating in a river running red. The scene was incongruous, all the trees in disarray, like spears askew, their leaves matted and all the colors darkened. She had become a ghost of a tree and her shadow an ominous sign of a future foreboding.
Where was the light of day?
Her body shook with a violence she had never known. She threw up her arms, looking away, then back again, thinking she must be dreaming from all that had happened these past weeks. But, again, she saw her Judah, the Little Lion, and blood rushing out into forever. Screaming now, she rushed toward the waters, but he held her back as the trapper and others came running to her to soothe her pain.
But she could not be consoled.
This painting is inspired by my visit to a particular spot along the Aude in the South of France in 2016 and all that has come clear in time. During my time there, the soul of France reawakened me and connected me more deeply to my soul’s story and memories from a life long ago. All Soul of France paintings explore experiences, natural landscapes, and the history of this land that speaks to my heart.
What is your essential story of life? What is alive in you?
I hope this painting has sparked a reconnection and remembrance for you today. I believe there is beauty to be found right here, right now, all around you and right there within you.
I'll meet you on the way!
ABOUT THE MAGDA SERIES. These are the stories that have lived in my heart and soul for the whole of my life. They are glimpses of one whom many remember and honor—the one known as Magdalen or Mary Magdalene. I call her Magda. Her story is alive in me and always leads me back to life and life to the full.
There are four series in the collection of Magda paintings:
Series 1: THE LIFE BEFORE Series 2: THE STORY THEY LIVED Series 3: ACROSS THE SEAS OF TIME Series 4: THEIR FOREVER STORY