When two paths become one
by Ellen Rice
When I began to paint “Never Alone” I started with a totally different painting in mind than the one you see before you, but as I painted the sky, the patterns emerging seemed to dictate a different scene. I followed its dictates and the painting painted itself.
The last stroke was sending a breeze across the sand, slightly blurring the two sets of footprints that come together in the foreground before joining into one path that vanishes into the light on the horizon.
As I have come to do of late, I stopped painting when a feeling of peace about the work overtook me. It felt good.
The next day I took the original pastel into the gallery and the first customer who saw it asked me if I would make prints. More people repeated the request over the next couple of days. Each remarked about being drawn to it because of its peacefulness and the feeling the joining paths gave them. I felt if so many people were getting something out of it, it was worthy of printing.
Someone dear in my life once told me that what draws people to a painting is not so much its technical expertise as the feelings with which the artist painted it - that a true expression of the heart and soul reaches out to people.
A lot of thoughts drifted through my mind while I was painting this pastel — memories of the many walks I took along the deserted shore after my husband, grandmother and brother died within months of each other some years ago … the strangers-turned-friends who came my way and helped me so much at that time … friends who are more than friends … people with helping hands and hearts and words of wisdom who made so much possible that I never would have dreamed possible.
At times, living alone on the other side of the county from my longtime home of Seaford, it was very lonely, but these new people whose paths crossed and joined mine one by one brought sunshine into my life.
Paths cross, sometimes for a short while, sometimes for the whole of our lives here on Earth. We never know when or how. The constant in all of this, I strongly believe, is the spirit of Christ in each of our hearts drawing us together.
As we strive to live out from a God-based life, walking toward the light as the footprints in the painting do, others with Christ-filled hearts come into our lives.
A verse in the Bible says it better: “When you walk in the light as He is in the light, you have fellowship one to another.”
“Never Alone” is a painting of gratitude and joy for His blessings of friendship, love and ever present help. I hope it brings you joy.
Since writing this, many people have asked me to write an inscription in the lower margin of their print that commemorates weddings and anniversaries.
The inscription I most often write includes the name of the couple, the date of their marriage or date of meeting and the words, “On this day, two paths became one.” I'm happy to do this for you. ~ Ellen