Yosemite – an eerie birthday gift

Suzette Standring
Follow Me
Latest posts by Suzette Standring (see all)

I opened the box, fresh from San Francisco, to see what my brother and sister-in-law had sent me for my birthday.  Organic barley tea and a painting done by Steve of a scene in Yosemite, which holds an eerie coincidence.

In the painting, four deer graze in a meadow and drink deeply from glistening streams.  The distance is bordered by tall trees, and beyond are mountains the color of rose quartz crystal.

Strange, but whenever I put myself into a meditative trance, I imagine this very place in Yosemite, where I had visited once in the 1980’s.

How could my brother know that?

Typically, Steve paints water vistas, boats, or detailed street scenes from Japan. He’s given me amazing pet portraits.

"Ginger" by Steven Martinez

“Ginger” by Steven Martinez


Yosemite is an unusual choice. How could he know this exact meadow is my go-to-place whenever I imagine a sacred spot for relaxation?

I called him at work.

After thanking him for his beautiful painting (and organic barley tea) I got right to the point.

“Why did you chose this scene?  Did you know I had been to Yosemite once?”

“No.  I was just looking through magazines for something to paint, and I liked the deer in it.”

I then shared the coincidental symbolism.

A long “hmm” followed by, “That’s strange, Sue.”

I asked him, “And the mountains, were they pink in the magazine?”

“Yeah, but I wanted to make them pop even more.”

“Steve, they are the exact color of rose quartz, the color of love and healing.”

“Well, hang it in a good place, Sue.”

After our call,  I stared at his painting for a long time. On the brink of turning 61,  I’m a woman who looks for signs.  For me, the message of his painting is “You’re safe within where love and healing reside.  So cool your jets.”

(PS:  The last sentence is a very good reminder after spending a morning at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, a place built for size not for speed. I had to renew my license where a positive mindset is hard to maintain. Cool your jets is a good mantra.)