Be silenced by majesty. It is found seated on a wooden pew, in a tiny church, light fractured through glass. It floats as hope in disaster. It’s carried on the wings of a Mourning Dove, on a path bullet-straight.

Ground your feet on the shoreline, at the edge of water and sand. Feel the water’s pull against your toes. Let the wind rage as it pushes against your body. Hear the waves crash. Cry at the salt’s sting. Carry more questions than answers. Look up. Be willing to be small.

Pray. There was a time, I tried prayer, believing if God only listened, he would grant my one wish, which was to ease the weight they had placed upon my shoulders. Of course this isn’t how it works. In those moments, I would have traded my one gold watch and moonstone, for peace of mind.

Wonder. As a child, I found wonder tucked away, within the silence of a library. Beyond the heavy oak doors was a sense of order and a treasure trove of books. There was always a gate keeper- usually a prim lady, seated behind a wooden desk, its surface polished to high shine, her lipstick blotted.

Entering the room, she stares back. A fan blows. I look up. The air above her is misty. Shafts of light illuminate bits of dust. Each particle hovers and drifts, reminding me of dandelion moons on a springtime breeze. So beautiful if you take the time to pay attention.

Lemon- orange oil hangs like a veil. The lady waves a hand and nods, a sign of approval. She raises one finger to her lips. There are rules, Child.

I nod. Beyond her, is Utopia, a world of leather and paperback. Books of every genre, tales of fairies, mysterious events, and clues. Books, their jackets fresh, others worn, spines softened by fingers and time. Beneath the towering shelves, I look up.

She notices and appears at my side, fingertips sliding along the row, coming to rest at a dark covered spine. The letters are golden.

“Can you read?” Her voice is so soft and low I can barely hear her speak.

I nod.

She hands me Mark Twain’s, ‘Huckleberry Finn.’

“You look like a reader with those cat eye glasses on.” She reaches over and straightens the frame at my temple.

“Better,” she says. “Check out, when you’re ready, Hon.”

I watch as she walks back toward her desk, patent leather heels, clicking with each step taken.


It’s told, “artists possess beautiful secrets.” They do. Lifting a brush, I let it slip through paint. ‘Titanium White’ softens ‘Payne’s Grey.’ I show her my painting.

In silence, my mother tilts her head, studies the canvas. She asks, in a tone of doubt,

“You did this?”

I nod.

A secretive smile crosses her face. Words are unnecessary.


The Book Club recommends this month’s read. In darkness, I slip into the cushions of an over stuffed chair. Words drop me like stone onto the banks of southern swampland and into the heart of poverty. I lower my head. Silence is loud. Birdsong breaks dawn.

We’re a world that is slow to listen so I turn down the noise. Music floats through the Bose. A voice falls soft as summer rain, notes pitter- patter across my heart. Change is a motivator. Cupboards clear, creating space for only that deemed essential. Practical magic swirls in the kitchen. Heated shea butter mixes with vanilla. Lemon kisses heirloom rose. Cinnamon sprinkles oatmeal, an alchemy of scent. The refrigerator hums as I stir.

Everything stirs if you listen to whispers.

Photo by Nick Bondarev on

silence, wonder, humility, self-care, writing, draft

Published by

Anna Watson

~ write like a painter