Once upon a time, there was a little girl with long dark black hair. 
Sweet, but awkward and shy. She loved her books and her art supplies.
Things were being done to this girl. Mostly at night, in the dark under the covers. 

So every chance this little girl had, she would head out to the woods to find safety. 
There was a tree house her and her younger brother built 6 feet up in the air made of scrap wood pieces, barely safe by 80’s standards.

There was another tree that looked magical with the longest large branch you’ll ever see, crossed over a small dip in the earth (a valley by a child’s standards). And in the distance… so many trees; during the spring… the wildflowers were everywhere. 
The girl’s favorite place was this little nook on the side of the creek. Perhaps better described as a human child-sized nest pushed into the native fauna. Here she would sit with her books, her little plastic art kit, and a sketchbook. Sometimes she would cry. Sometimes she would create. She never forgets how the light reflected on the water to help make her take deep breaths as it passed on by. 

And finally… the metal plank bridge to cross the creek… which was so scary to cross for her (the fear of falling in)… 

I think that’s why I started here in this illustration… sometimes… the scary bridges must be crossed so we can finally begin healing.
As a child, I loved being in the woods - my playground and safe spaces—places I could find my little nook of peace. 

I often tout the healing power of creativity but have always feared using it as a public platform of my pain and vulnerability. While there are touches of past trauma in my art, this watercolor was the first time I really dove into recreating parts of my past. Yes, it’s a lovely peaceful scene, but creating it took months, not because of the detail but because of the emotions it brought to the surface. I had to set it aside multiple times. (It took even longer to post).

Sending love to all who can relate in whatever way you may relate. Cross the bridges, do the scary things, let yourself begin to heal. You deserve it, and it’s not too late. ♥️

Created with Sakura Koi Watercolors & Micron 05
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