One day when I arrived at the end of a session, Chama showed me Naomi's sand scene and said, "This is very powerful." Two small mirrors stood facing each other in the sand, with a play figure of a child between them. The light reflecting back and forth off the mirrors flashed brilliantly, creating an endless field of light around the little toy figure set in the middle. Indeed, for its simplicity and boldness alone, it seemed a masterful display for a four year old.
Then it came time to find a kindergarten for Naomi. While visiting the local Waldorf school, I met Naomi's future teacher and my future wife, Jean Tobias, a dark-haired, green-eyed woman with a heartwarming smile. Standing alone, dressed simply in a yellow cotton blouse and blue cotton skirt, she seemed poised and eager to greet us. It was love at first sight for me as my pulse quickened and I wanted to know this quiet, refined woman better. Soon my fondness for Jean grew stronger, and after we began dating, when I dropped Naomi off at kindergarten in the morning and saw her, I would slip a love poem into her hand before leaving. The Baha'i Faith discourages casual intimate relationships, instead endorsing committed unions that lead to strong families, and I knew I wanted to remarry. Months later, when I was thirty-three years old and Jean was thirty-six, I asked her to marry me and she accepted. So in August 1985, Naomi had a mother figure again whom she could look up to. Jean did important little things with her, such as playing make-believe and rubbing her back while singing to her at bedtime. I, meanwhile, continued operating my landscaping business, now with ten employees, while Jean taught and eventually started her own kindergarten. Although I enjoyed landscaping, I felt as though some part of me was waiting to come to expression in the world, and knew that eventually I would have to honor myself completely by allowing my talent to unfold. In the meantime, I prayed it would not be lost.
In November 1986, our daughter Sarah was born, after which Jean quit teaching to stay at home. About the same time, I realized my dream. With Jean's support, I sold my landscaping business and became a full-time artist, retailing my oil paintings out of an art-district studio.