"Bless The Fire Through Which We Walk" watercolor on watercolor paper. Trial by fire is when we face the most difficult challenges in our lives. Rarely an ordeal that is sought out, we all enter the flames and face annihilation sooner or later. Some persons (and sometimes entire nations) live through one long challenge after another. They endure the unendurable, release occurs upon death. For others it occurs in a less drastic form, and a phase of peace follows in which to rest and replenish.. No matter how torturous, all challenges eventually run the course and flames subside. One way or another it, this too shall pass. Like the seasons, tides, cycles of the moon and stars, this is inevitable. I don’t know if the manner of perceiving and learning from such experiences is a talent one is born with, but it can be learned and developed. In any culture, two individuals living parallel lives, for example siblings, can experience the same ordeal yet survive with radically opposed impressions of that ordeal. Prophet Mohammad once said that whenever possible, respond with compassion, mercy, moderation, and ponder the greater picture and meaning of what has transpired. Yet, sometimes it seems there is no meaning at all, what has occurred is senseless. In this painting I’m attempting to portray that moment of realization, that walking through fire can also be a transformation, the gateway to purifying radiance. The flames have tempered and fine tuned the spirit, and from the ashes emerges a winged spirit of pure gold. I know from personal experience and from witnessing what others endure that human spirit is resilient, we are stronger than we imagine. All forms arise then fall back into the void from which they came, nothing lasts forever. Trust the process and open the inner eye. Move into the moment, into the Now, for we are already whole. The person in the image is rising from ashes of the past and unfurling her wings, lifting her head and preparing to stretch her neck and back. She is radiant and illuminates the night with her power. She knows the source of her strength resides within herself and all sentient beings. Nobody and nothing can take it away because this source is directly connected to What Is, the Greater Truth ( Al Haq). The circle represents wholeness, completion, balance, universe, moon and sun. Art and text copyright Helena Nelson -Reed, Thank you for respecting intellectual and creative rights. - Helena Nelson Reed