A Shot Across the Bow

A year or so ago I was given a fantastic gift.  It is a lithograph of a painting by Will Haddon.  I attended a meeting at the home of his widow and was astonished at the beauty of the nautical art on her walls. She explained they were her husband’s, and that he specialized in paintings on the Chesapeake Bay.  How could I have missed out on this artist I wondered!  I told her how wonderful I thought they were and joked that if one was missing after I left she knew where to look.

Several months later she made a gift of a lithograph of one of his paintings saying that my obvious joy in his work touched her.  She selected the one she thought was right for me at that time so into my life came this painting.  It is hard to describe it with justice but it is a sailing ship with several others off in the foggy distance.  One of the ships has fired a warning shot across the bow of the ship in the foreground and you can see the water splash from the cannonball or whatever was fired.  Thus the name of the painting is “A Shot Across the Bow”.

My initial reaction was to be a little taken back and wondered what I was going to do with a painting depicting a scene from a war.  But the beauty of this work led me to send it off to be framed and what a magnificent piece of art now sits on my mantle.  Once again the truth that we draw our prosperity to us was confirmed for me.  Not only with the painting but in addition I have friends who do extraordinary framing in their home and knowing them added additional beauty to the lithograph.

Each time I look closely at the painting I see more and more.  One day in the stillness the understanding came of the lesson for me in the picture.  There are times in my life (and yours) that the best way God can get our attention is through some type of warning that stops us in our tracks.  The illness I described in an earlier post was such a warning for me.  I was so far down a self destructive path that I was lost and believe that when that happens our Spirit begins to impulse out cries for help.  The human part of us may not even realize the call is going out.  For whatever reason the Universe knew a serious warning was needed (an in your face warning such as the title of the painting) to bring me back from those depths.  And it worked.  It redirected me on the journey to freedom and remembering the love that I am in this body.

But we must be willing to recognize the warnings we receive and take action (or no action if that is appropriate).  I often wonder looking at the painting what happened that day.  Did the ship stand and fight or did it retreat and take another direction.  I also ask would either choice have been okay.  My experience has shown me there are times we must stand firm and follow through with something even though it is painful because we will come through more complete and more compassionate with ourselves and others.  And there are times when changing course is required.  Disappointment and sadness my result for awhile or immediate joy may result at the new direction of the journey.  Maybe the topic of making choice will be another blog postJ

What warnings has the Universe shot across your bow?  How did you recognize them? What action did you take?


3 thoughts on “A Shot Across the Bow

  1. I met Will Haddon traveling to Martha’s Vineyard. My family and I stopped at an art show in Cape Cod and a very handsome gentleman asked if I would like to see his art exhibit. My husband and I were shown beautiful art of ships and water and I loved them all! I purchased an oil of a beachfront that was in my price range and loved it. At the time in 1977, we did not want to spend too much on art, we were so looking forward to our vacation with our young children and new puppy! I had a wonderful long conversation with Mr. Haddon and had so wished I could have purchased more of his art, especially his ships! But I was happy to have even a small piece of his exceptional talent. He confided in me that he had cancer and we spoke about illness and life. I felt that there was a reason why we stopped the car when we saw him wave us down on the road and my husband and I have never forgotten him. One day, I was looking at the postcard he had given us depicting his art and I called his home. Sadly, he had passed away, but I had the opportunity to tell the woman that answered the phone about our meeting. I believe it was his wife, but it was a long time ago. My husband also has cancer, he is in remission now and I have been quite ill. But through all the years, I have thought of Will Haddon as I look at his painting on my wall every day.

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