“I brought you a gift,” my daughter-in-law Liz said the day after the launch party for Leaning into Love. She seemed unusually shy.
“Really, Liz? Another gift? You gave me the gift of driving from North Carolina to celebrate.”
Liz handed me a large package, light and packed for protection.
“I commissioned this from my friend Renee Schuls-Jacobson,” Liz said as I unwrapped. “Renee and I have known each other for years and I thought she would create something you’d like.” I pulled out a powerful elephant portrait with one wise eye holding calm and steady in the midst of swirling energy.
I inspected every detail, admiring the painting up close and at a distance. “I love it, Liz,” I said. I remembered the temple elephants in India who stayed calm despite blaring horns and pushing people. They didn’t get rattled. I needed elephant energy.
David and Liz headed for North Carolina early Sunday morning. Around noon, my younger son Anthony, Veronica, and I headed to the designated pyramid site. (To read part one of our adventures, see A Book Launch, an Engagement, and a Pyramid.) Veronica mastered every tool from a pick ax to a post hole digger. She looked great in my work boots. They kept digging while I drove the tractor back to the barn to pick up the artist Keenan Nielboch and friends Anya and Jerry. Keenan did some last minute polishing before they loaded the pyramid, bags of cement, and buckets of water into the wagon.
When we got back to the woods, Anthony and Veronica had dug four feet down. The crew mixed and poured cement into the hole. They centered the pyramid support, leveling and bracing with wooden beams. A little techno music and dancing accompanied installation. They are Burning Man buddies, after all.
A few days later, I hung the elephant painting on the wall above my desk and walked out to admire the pyramid. The cement was dry, but I hadn’t shoveled gravel into the hole underneath the pyramid or removed the supports. I tugged at the wooden beams to see if they were loose, but they didn’t budge. My husband Vic would have removed them days before, but I couldn’t find the will to do it alone.
I stood back to admire the pyramid and imagine it floating above the earth as it will when the supports gone. Six years after his death, my heart ached for Vic. I longed to admire the pyramid with him and share stories about elephants and our creative family.
If you’d like to read more about why my family loves elephants, you’ll like Ganesha: Patron of Writers and Lord of Beginnings. elephant blessings, you’ll enjoy Ganesh. For more about the family book launch weekend and the pyramid, read A Book Launch, an Engagement, and a Pyramid.