Many Ways to Help Waterways

IMG_7934A year ago I met a woman during a swim in Bermuda. Chatting in beautiful water, we found we were so much alike! Our love of the water, our families, our priorities were all so similar. We prattled on and on, but people kept interrupting to ask for her autograph. Finally we retreated to a hot tub where I asked who she was. Her name is Mimi Hughs and at age 50 she swam the entire 2,880 kilometers of the Danube though 10 countries, some of which were communist, to raise environmental awareness. Her 19-year-old daughter Kelsey was her kayak support. Mimi needed all 10 countries to help support her swim thus illustrating the need to work internationally to protect our planet. Each day for 89 days she swam 20 to 30 kilometers. Sometimes the river was wildly dangerous, at times frigid and often so polluted that she fought infections almost daily.

At this point in the conversation I’m thinking, maybe we’re not so much alike.

Since then I have read her book about the experience and we have stayed in touch thanks to social media. A couple weeks ago this monumental star for environmental awareness told me she thinks I’m awesome! She was referring to my painting of course, not my athletic achievements. I would love to have the kind of bravery and body to make history like Mimi has (the Danube is not her only endurance achievement), but we do what we can right? My contribution is though painting and that’s good because Mimi has the endurance thing covered. Each person has his or her unique gift, talent, or interest and just like the ecosystem, our interdependence is more valuable than our independence.

I paint, Save the Bay protects and educates and Dryden Gallery supports us both.

Here is what I’ve done this month for my “Paint the Bay” project.

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I’m hoping this show will be a reminder to those of us in Rhode Island just how beautiful and diverse, yet vulnerable our bay is. Part of the proceeds will go to Save the Bay to support their great work. Save October 6th and come celebrate with us.

Meanwhile, check out Mimi’s book “Wider than a Mile: One River Two Women. It is truly a page-turner!