It is all I can do to make this post, but I need to do so to honor a dear friend and a great artist. Sheila Rieman passed away on Thursday, Nov 17th, 2011. She was traveling (as she was always traveling) to an art show in Billings, MT. She was just outside of Billings when she had a car accident that took her life.
Sheila was a bright spot in so many people’s lives. She was always laughing and fun to be around, a true friend, always there to help, a hard worker, an amazing multi-talented person, a great teacher, a great artist. I can’t tell you how much she’ll be missed – by so many.
Just last week I tore the following poem out of the paper, meaning to file it away. In seeing it now I know that it was meant for Sheila. She has lived her life close to nature, with her own animals and the wild ones that frequent her space. Her great art has been a tribute to all of those things. Sheila, my friend, my family, I can’t tell you how much we will miss you. The world won’t be the same without you.
“The Song of the River” by W.R. Hearst
The snow melts on the mountain. And the water runs down to the spring.
And the spring in a turbulent fountain, with a song of youth to sing,
Runs down to the riotous river, and the river flows to the sea.
And the water again goes back to rain, to the hills where it used to be.
And I wonder if life’s deep mystery isn’t much like the rain and snow.
Returning through all eternity to the places it used to know.
For life was born on the lofty heights and flows in a laughing stream
To the river below who’s outward flow ends in a peaceful dream.
And so at last when our life has passed, and the river has run it’s course,
It again goes back o’er the selfsame track to the mountain which was it’s source.
So why prize life or why fear death, or dread what is to be?
The river ran it’s allotted span till it reached the silent sea.
Then the water harked back to the mountain top to begin it’s course once more.
So we shall run the course begun till we reach the silent shore.
Then revisit earth in a pure rebirth from the heart of the virgin snow.
So don’t ask why we live or die, or whither or when we go,
or wonder about the mysteries that only God may know.