Navigating Rough Waters

This painting was inspired by photos taken the day before my son left for Marine Boot Camp.  It also happened to be the day before Mother’s Day.  Yes, he left on Mother’s Day to go begin his service to our amazing country.

We always loved walking along the beach that meanders around Lake Michigan and the boardwalk that leads out to our favorite little red lighthouse at the end.  So what better thing to do then go on one last exploration?

On this day the lake was rough.  I navigated the wet boardwalk while my son climbed along the rocks to the right.  He would jump ahead and then turn back and nudge his head challenging me to move forward as the waves crashed against the concrete below me.  The goal was to make it to the lighthouse but today it was a bit more of a challenge with the waves crashing and spraying.  My son was safely on the rocks but I was too unsteady to attempt them.

The sun was behind us.  The reflection of the water on the boardwalk made it appear as smooth as glass.  The roughness of the waves reminded me of the challenges we face in life.  The contrast reminded me of the years spent raising the amazing young man that was now to venture out into the world without me.

The mere fact that he was climbing the rocks symbolized to me that he was ready for the rugged terrain of life.  The nudge of his head was as much a sense of accomplishment for him as it was a dare for me to follow him and his ability to help me conquer my own fears.

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There will be smooth times in life.

There will be rough patches that can toss you in its waves making you struggle for air.

There will be paths that seem easy because they appear smooth.

There will be paths that are rough yet easier to maneuver if you take your time and plan your next step.

Regardless of the path you take,

You, and only you, can choose the right path for yourself.

Remember to take it along with someone you trust.

Always pause and give them a nudge of encouragement.

The path may be similar but it is still their own to navigate.

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Raissa Urdiales
Raissa Urdiales
Raissa lived most of her life along the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. She currently lives in the quiet city of Tega Cay, South Carolina, just across the border from the very active art community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Raissa has not always considered herself as an artist. She spent a great portion of her adult life staring into computer screens and managing computer system implementations and upgrades in the traditional corporate setting. It was through a chance paint night that she discovered her passion for painting. On her 51st birthday, she treated herself to some acrylic paints and brushes and has not stopped painting since. She balances her passion for creating with her day job as a systems analyst. In the wee hours of the morning, you will find her painting before she immerses herself in the technology that is consuming the world today. Although Raissa does not have formal training in the arts she is very conscious of the benefits it has on the human psyche. She holds a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Psychology where she focused her studies on Organizational Psychology. Through her corporate career, she has learned how to strike a balance between that which provides monetary reward and that which fulfills us as humans. For her, this balance is obtained through painting, writing, and exercise. She is currently a member of the Guild of Charlotte Artists where she exhibits select pieces during the quarterly art shows in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan Area. She has also submitted and is featured regularly in the Light Space & Time online gallery. When she is not painting or working with computer systems, she is writing. She currently has a column with BIZCATALYST 360° named “Artful Being” where she writes on topics both in and out of her corporate life to help others gain balance on what it is to be human.

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  1. I love your painting, I love your post and the poem. I love that you gave a wonderful visual of how I also view my own son as he goes into the world. Your story made me want to spend time with my son…outdoors and exploring more. Thank you for this gentle reminder to be present, prepared and paying attention to these priceless moments.