A Place to Dream

When I first was asked to do murals for RI, I thought of all the cool places that I could let someone see. Someplace that they may have never seen for someone that may have not gone anywhere.

This mural shows a place where I took my children when I first came to Washington. My neighbor, who had heard my sad story of domestic violence, came over and said, “Get in the van. I have prepared a picnic for you and your children. We are going to see God’s favorite place.”

We started out driving up towards Mt. Rainier, the sleeping volcano in my back yard. We pulled over and parked along a stream that was literally coming out of the side of the hillside by my side of the car. It flowed into the ditch. I could and did touch the flow of icy cold water.

Next, we walked into the river bed where the water flow was only 5 foot wide and very shallow. It was August here. We walked across a log fashioned as a bridge.  After about 15 minutes of walking a tree lined path, we came into the clearing. I heard the sounds of water and it took my breath when I first saw it clear and cascading down 4 ledges of rock. We could see the bottom of the creek clear as day with millions of rocks of all colors.

My children just ran into it screaming at the chill but stayed in it for over an hour. I did an oil painting of it that my now grown children are fighting over from when I die.

By having this mural on the wall at the Recovery Response Center in Peoria, AZ, hopefully, it will let folks dream about what it is like to be there. Water is a fabulous healer, internally and visually.

The name of this beautiful place is Chenuis Falls in Carbonado, Washington.​

Lucy Schwartz
Lucy is a Peer Recovery Specialist at RI International and has spread her mural magic in RI International crisis facilities across the United States.