Initially, I worked at my still lifes and landscapes in the back of the studio, displaying the framed paintings on partition walls up front. The next year, we bought six acres of land on the outskirts of Santa Fe, and built a home there with open views of three mountain ranges. Also, I opened a larger gallery, hired salespeople, and showed other artists' work along with my own.
Naomi continued at the Waldorf school which, by its sensitivity to the cycles of nature and the stages of maturity in the children's souls, steadily encouraged her creative temperament. By sixth grade, she was bringing home scores of drawings and watercolor paintings, including abstract exercises involving primary colors, and simpler studies in only two colors. At Halloween, she covered a sheet of white paper with yellow paint and, while it was still wet, used her brush dipped in red to create a smiling orange pumpkin face with orange rays of happiness extending outward over the edges. At home, she used crayons, often drawing interior scenes, such as a princess in a long dress standing at a mirror in her room, with paintings adorning the walls and a table with flowers nearby. She readily let her imagination flow in her art and loved including the details that represent the personality of our lives. It was as if the purity of her soul flowed easily into the world this way.
According to custom at the Waldorf school, the senior eighth grade students begin the year by presenting roses to each child entering the first grade. The event, called the rose ceremony, is held outdoors with parents present. The year that Sarah began first grade, Naomi, in the eighth grade, handed her a rose. It could not have been arranged any better, I thought.
Waldorf education differs from that of the public schools in other ways as well, not the least of which is that year after year, teachers remain with their class. From the second to the eighth grade, Naomi's teacher was Barbara Miller, a lively, middle-aged woman with a friendly disposition. Over the years, Mrs. Miller had become quite familiar with Naomi, understanding her strengths and weaknesses, as well as her family background. When finally she penned her last teacher evaluation at the time of Naomi's graduation from the school, she wrote: