September 2020 - September 2021
Nearly a year after visiting Willow Springs Lake in the White Mountains of Arizona, I finally framed this moment kayaking to the end of the lake, appreciating just being alive. I snapped a photo, thinking perhaps I’d draw it later. In the photo was a circle of ripples, seemingly for something that wasn’t there. It felt like a heron belonged in that space, so I added him in the foreground to appreciate the view along with me. Later, with the drawing close to “finished,” I realized that there was no reflection for the heron. I added one. Then I realized that the heron was Dad, no longer here, but yet still here in heart and mind, approaching what would have been his 79th birthday on that day at the lake, just before September 20, 2020.
Today would have been his 80th. Still miss him more than words can express, but as I framed the image, the words just bubbled to the surface here in Mountain Presence - in honor of Mark David Westlake, a life well-lived.