valerie in full color
Valerie reached out to me about a portrait to reflect her new “wisdom” locks. After we settled on the Monticello Trail as the location for our shoot, I scouted the path to uncover the spots with the most beautiful light. They’re not hard to find. Although there are many luscious backdrops we used for the pictures, (some so tropical that I claimed we must be in Costa Rica!), there was a quiet place among the trees near the amphitheater that held the space for Valerie. I kept seeing her standing there, in advance of the day, wrapped in greens and golds, and silver, of course!
I have been doing holistic work for over two decades now, but my interest in it began at my awakening at the age of twenty-five. In the morning of February 28, 1987, I experienced a premonition: I had the weird and uncomfortable feeling that something bad was going to happen. That evening, I Iearned that my first husband had died tragically in a car accident in the early afternoon.
Most of us will experience the death of a loved one, or pain and suffering in our lives, but at 25, I had not yet experienced the death of someone very close to me. I knew in that moment that my life was forever changed.
The next day at dawn, as I lay awake in the guest room of my father’s house, I felt my husband’s soul pass through my body. It only lasted for maybe a few seconds, but I instinctively knew what was happening. It is the one thing in my life that I know for sure and have never doubted. At the moment my husband's soul moved through me, saying goodbye, I felt complete peace and bliss; but immediately afterwards, I fell back into grief, remembering he was gone.
That morning at the breakfast table, my conservative, successful, businessman father told me that he had had a dream about my husband Charles he wanted to share. In the dream, Charles came to my dad and asked him if he would gather me and Charles' parents together because he had something important to tell us. My dad did as he was asked and began to speak, but he spoke in my husband’s voice telling us we were not to worry about him, and that he was doing very well. He said we had nothing to fear from death, it was just a transition into another way of Being.
I will admit that at the time, I wished that I had had the dream; but looking back, I know that it needed to come from a trusted source, like my father. That dream and my husband’s very personal goodbye changed me in very deep and immediate ways. I know now, that it was my awakening, and from that day forward I became an active seeker of truths.
In the thirty-plus years since then, I have learned more than I can begin to tell you here. The day of my husband’s passing and the days that followed changed the way I think about God, heaven, spirituality, religion and myself. I have had more amazing, odd, transformative and surprising experiences, but from that day it has been a journey like no other.
I did remarry and we raised three sons, got divorced, and I currently have two grandchildren. Over the years, I worked and volunteered for various organizations, all while experiencing surprising and amazing synchronicities that continue to this day.
My life and work are always changing and evolving, just like nature; I hope these photos reflect my ever-changing nature. Nature reveals her truth in all of its glory; it is my desire that these photos also reveal my truest nature.
When I was in the forest having my portrait done, with only the beautiful canopy of trees to filter the natural light, I felt at home and very free. Karrie and I communicated with the different nature beings to support our work together, and we sensed their magic all around us.
I hope we made some of it visible.
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