US Army Col. Thomas Brown, retired, likes this best of anything I've written. Who would have guessed that a guy would like this? (Sorry, that didn't come out right. It is just that I write like a girl.)
Note: Just going to jump in here because it is out of the middle of something. Try not to worry about the part that is missing, the point is what is here.
(excerpt from Kathryn's Beach)
“One of our sisters and a local artist painted a mural around the walls of the playroom,” she beams.
I stop in awe just inside the door and look around the room. Amazingly, it isn’t overwhelming to have the mural from floor to ceiling on all four walls. It’s detailed, but not too busy. It’s rather calming. I feel its effect standing here, though my eyes are eagerly moving from one surprisingly delightful detail to the next.
To the left of the door and around the nearby corner is a country scene with a cottage and a variety of domesticated animals and squirrels that ventured near the dwelling. Midway along the wall the terrain rises slightly to gentle rolling hills covered with wild flowers. A paved road emerges from the far side of the hills and turns the corner onto the next wall.
The road quickly grows into a freeway system with bridges over a barge-filled river in the forefront of a city, which includes tall smokestacks belonging to a factory. Towering apartment buildings glow with the setting sun. The buildings blend into silhouettes with light-filled windows as the painted sky fades to darkness, except for the moon and stars over the city. The cityscape takes nearly the entire wall opposite the door.
Beyond the city, nearing the third corner of the room, the ground rises to a high meadow at the edge of a forest which begins on the third wall. The forest grows dense with hardwood trees that reach to the ceiling, blocking most of the painted light to the forest floor and a small overgrown footpath. Tiny shimmering rays of sunlight filter through the forest canopy to illuminate deer, bears, and other indigenous adult animals in the distance, keeping watch over their youngsters in the forefront – within reach if a child wishes to touch them.
Moving on along the wall, the forest thins and a stream gives way at a steep drop. The rising sun glistens through the mist of a waterfall cascading down the corner of the room and splashing into a freshwater pool with brightly colored trout, frogs, and dragonflies. At the far edge of the lake, the water rushes to the sea and the waves splash with a pair of dolphins. Farther back, a California gray whale spews a waterspout while another breaches into the water. Beneath the surface, a whale calf is visible swimming at an adult’s side.
On the fourth wall the waves rush onto the shore where there is a wonderfully intricate sandcastle. Beyond the grassy sand dune beach, a desert materializes. It is full of cacti, Joshua trees, horny toads, a burro, and a scorpion with its tail turned up. The sand grows green and golden with California poppies that end at the door. The entire picture connects together, and I love it!
My eyes go around the room a second time looking at the details. There are butterflies, seagulls, hummingbirds, soaring eagles, and a cactus wren – all in the appropriate habitat. The idea and the art are brilliant.