I love the Three Sisters Wilderness. It’s my home base wilderness. It’s where I go to reconnect to the divine in a very deep and real and magical way. I’ve been hiking there for the past 32 years, so I call them “my girls”. They are so beautiful, with their lava flows and cinder strewn meadows of wildflowers, an oasis of magnificence in central Oregon. For those who don’t know, they are named North, Middle and South Sister; AKA Faith, Hope and Charity. Three characteristics that are well worth some effort.
I like that the girls have AKA’s, because I do too! I rarely use my birth name and since I’ve had three different last names in my lifetime, I don’t have a deep connection to the names given to me. I’ve chosen my name and my place in the world. And I’ve chosen my totem mountains.
Which, by the way, are one of the very few mountains (named by the white man) with a feminine name. Interestingly enough, they are rarely called by their “proper names” but are instead referred to by their relationship: The Sisters. Why do you think that is? What does that say about our culture, or, our culture of the past, that a mountain could not have a woman’s name, nor be named after one? Or if they did, it was best that we reference them by their family associations. Was it, that in the old days, men liked to label things that stuck up and out of the landscape as masculine? By that line of reasoning, then all canyons should be named for women, right? Well, I’m doubtful as to that kind of reason, but that’s research left for another day.
Through my Facebook group, Women of the PCT, a sister hiker contacted me a year ago to buy the painting of Charity (South Sister) but the email was lost in cyber-space until I unearthed it and replied. Did she still want the painting? She did, but alas it was too small. So, we negotiated a larger version to be commissioned and off I went, happy to oblige! I was thrilled to have an opportunity to paint my darling girls. To paint for a “hiker chick” was a bonus. This is yet another trail painting in my series, The Wilderness of Women, only this time, it was a personal request and that made it even more special.
I chose several photos and compiled an image that doesn’t exactly exist in reality, to get them in this order, I had to squish them together a little bit. I’ve used my “artist’s license”. You may not see this exact scene from a spot on the trail, but it exists in my heart. An appropriate sentiment as that is where “my girls” will live forever. And when I am gone, please spread my ashes here, so I can be a part of them as they are for me.
Now, here we have it, My Three Sisters: