Lost and Found in the Forest

Sally Swain art painting collatge

Lost and Found in the Forest
Sally Swain © art

Welcome to 2019

I wish you a sense of foundness

at this moment of early January,

when some folk can feel lost in the wilds

of New Year, loneliness

or out-of-routineness.

Let me tell you a story straight from the Creative Love Exchange.

(Creative Love Exchange description here)

Some years ago I went to a Playback Theatre retreat in the Blue Mountains. I stayed in a little ex-train carriage in the bush. I couldn’t sleep. This is not unusual for me and my restless, anxious night-mind. I rose up, out of bed and walked away across the earth. It was a very not-city scene. There were trees and trees and crackly gum leaves underfoot. Careful, Sally, careful to not get lost wandering off the beaten track in the middle of the night.

The thing is, I felt completely safe. The moon was full. I didn’t walk far into the thicket of things, yet was wrapped in beauty; surrounded by a cathedral of moon and tree. I returned to bed and slept.

The next morning I saw a sign.

Caution: Do Not Walk in the Bush at Night. Do Not Stray from the Track.

Timid, urban, physically unadventurous me had done both those things, yet I felt safe.

I created a picture: Lost and Found in the Forest.

And…lo. Thirteen years later, an art therapy friend asks to purchase this painting for her sister who is turning sixty. At first I am unsure whether this work is for sale. Then I say Yes. I embrace the loop of giving and receiving.

You experience something. You receive the benefits of making art from the experience. Astoundingly, someone else would like to give you something in order to receive the medicines of the art you’ve created. There is an exchange of heart, of art, of goods, of services. It’s win win win.

In this case, several sisters club together to buy Lost and Found in the Forest. Apparently the girl in the picture resembles the twelve year old version of the birthday woman. I wait. The gift is presented. She loves it.

Lost and Found in the Forest.

Sally Swain art painting collatge

Lost and Found in the Forest
Sally Swain © art

Do you have any stories of the Creative Love Exchange?

Of being in the flow of giving and receiving via creative expression?

with love, art and soul from Sally


7 thoughts on “Lost and Found in the Forest

  1. Oh how beautiful Sally! Ooh I love Lost and Found in the Forest and the story of how she was born. And how wonderful that she was found and chosen by sister(s) in art, and now re-housed and cherished by her new custodian now that she is 13! When I saw Lost and Found in the Forest I went ‘Oooh!!’ also because of a lovely little numinous experience I had on Christmas Eve…My ‘babies’ (24 & 20 year olds!) were home from the big city for Christmas and at 3am on Christmas Eve I woke up wide awake and ventured out into our garden to deliver their stockings (one in a caravan, one in a little boat-house in the garden). So tipto-ing out into the garden I was immediately awestruck by that Very Bright Moon – so bright it was actually like daylight out there. And I stood in awe for ages and wafted into a little full-moon meditation just standing there on the path to the house, as it poured it’s cleansing light brightly over our beautiful home – our home that we have spent 10 years building, and having just finished, came close to losing this year – but now is safely in our hands so we can live out our days here and pass it on to our children. I sent blessings to loved ones and felt very blessed and full of gratitude. Some Very Dark and Ominous Clouds moved over the Very Bright Moon at one point and I felt the potency of that darkness. A tremor went through me and I thought how tempting it is to slide into darkness during emotionally challenging times (such as having our home threatened) and how remembering basic goodness, and forgiveness is an ongoing choice. The clouds moved on and the light flooded out brighter than ever and I felt very moved. Then I hightailed it back inside because I was freezing! So Lost and Found in the Forest really speaks to me too dear Sally. Thank you once again for sharing your soulful art and continuing to be a great source of inspiration and love. Love always, Sally S xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh Sally-you-Sally-M. You really must write a blog. Or a something. You have an exquisite way with creating word-pictures. Your story touches and inspires me in turn. The Creative Love Exchange cycles and spirals go round and round. And round.


      • Thanks so much Sally! That’s so lovely of you. Your encouragement really gives me courage to express myself in words and lingers in my heart. Thank you. And I just realised when I read your reply that I signed off as “Sally S” instead of “Sally M” haha!! That’s how much you inspire me!! xoxo

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  2. A beautiful experience. I haven’t had an experience of creative exchange like yours but I certainly live in a lovely circle of creative giving and receiving eg a friend came by and said, “I would like to do some gardening for you.” I looked at all the weeds and wilderness and said, “Are you sure?” She was sure. When she was finished she came inside and I gave her a drink of my homemade berry cordial. My friend said, “This tastes like nectar of the Gods.” We both felt very good. 🙂

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