Windows of Wonder

One of the wonderful privileges of painting murals for RI is the praise I receive from my peers and the people I meet. I came from a life where “pats on the back” and encouragement were not common. I have received so many good comments by doing these murals around the country from people who ask me to do them and the team members I meet.

This series of murals came from my thoughts about young people in crisis. Knowing that we were going to entertain this generation of adolescents touched my heart. So, being in Palm Springs, I thought maybe some of the guests may have never seen tall mountains laden with snow or winter forests. Sometimes when I am creating, ideas just jump in and I think, “That’s it. That’s what I want to paint.”

The first window is literally a mountain I see in my backyard. It is a sleeping volcano. The trees in the snow scene in the second window are Alder which look a lot like birch trees. But, the bunnies and the snow angel represent the child in me. I was hoping that those who came into the crisis center could relate, even if they had never seen snow. The pond scene is the third window. The geese fly in droves and their sound is unmistakable. Now they are flying south in a V for winter. Some adolescents have never been out of the desert area they live in. I cannot imagine these losses.

When I got back on the plane home, I hoped that I made folks feel comfortable with the support we were offering. The photos here will never do the murals justice – go see them sometime.

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.