Hope’s garden

My trip to Baton Rouge started in Seattle’s airport. If you have ever been in a busy airport you can relate to the challenges faced. The many emotions experienced while waiting, going through security, and finding the gate are familiar to me. Although, I have found the ability to look ahead, breathe, and make it an enjoyable experience, especially with the airline happenings of today.

This particular trip’s fiascos were not obscure with overbookings, flat tires, and even tornado warnings. I remember staring out the plane window half expecting to see a house swirling around on its way to Oz, since that would fit in with the chaos of travel.

This was my second trip to our unit in Baton Rouge. Most of the staff I had met and worked with from my first trip were still there, and they were still their superb selves.  After getting the supplies for this mural and starting the normal process, I was on my way to fashion what everyone wanted to see. After seeing and hearing their ideas for the design, I felt a great summons from my inventiveness spirit – the ideas were challenging, but I began to draw out the design.

Whenever my brush hit the wall I was running down a path. Flowers and colors generated a feel of garden settings and of course critters. Yes, critters. What do you see in Louisiana? Alligators, butterflies, dragon flies, and blue jays. Critters!

Finally when I put my signature on it and presented it to the staff, I was already having those “I hate to leave” feelings. This group of dedicated caring staff just drew me into the fold like I belonged. Thank you, Baton Rouge, for the lovely experience and for working the “kindness is contagious” recovery pathway.

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.