Seasons Mural Story
Our painting is inspired by ancient Aboriginal and indigenous wisdom, science, and folklore. The Rainbow Snake is our major symbol. It represents the river of life for the Aboriginal people of Australia. In our mural it is our lifeblood, the North Platte River.
The theme of our mural is about change and transition, represented by the seasons and the circle of life. It is a never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth as all life on earth moves from season to season, changing, bringing its own special beauty to the earth.
The headdresses of the rainbow snake are the cougar, a predator, and its prey, the deer. These animals live here year round. In the circle of life, the sun feeds the plants, the plants feed the deer, the deer feeds the cougar, and when the cougar dies, it goes back to the earth. All are connected, an essential part of the circle.
Summer is yellow and warm. The trees are full of leaves, and the insects are buzzing with life. The butterfly is the symbol of rebirth. The earth is alive and growing with the warmth of the sun.
The heart of the Rainbow Snake is Oregon Trail Elementary, represented by the wagon wheel. The 4 spokes of the wheel represent the four seasons. It is located as summer turns to fall, the time when the children return to school.
The green leaves of summer blow into the bright colors of autumn. Fall is the time to prepare for winter as the days grow colder and the night get longer. Animals begin to migrate, dig dens, and fatten up for the upcoming difficulties of winter.
The stomach of the Rainbow Snake is the hooves of the deer. The stomach is located in autumn, the time for both humans and animals to hunt and prepare meat in order to survive the winter.
The leaves of autumn become snowflakes as winter blows in. The sky becomes gray as the snows fall, covering the land, accumulating in the mountains as the source of life giving water for the warm months to come.
The womb of the Rainbow Snake is represented by the paws of the hibernating mother bear with her cub, born in the den during the cold months of winter. The mother feeds and cares for the baby, preparing for spring, when they emerge from the den, ready to face the world.
The snowflakes of winter slip into spring. The crabapples bloom, the trees bursting with color. Animals return, or emerge from their place of hibernations, enjoying the fresh shoots of growing plants. Babies are born, and life returns to the earth.
The black bands bordering the mural represent the night. The growing darkness reminds us that the days grow shorter as winter descends upon the land. With the coming spring, the days begin to lengthen as the black recedes. The new moon, located in winter, is the symbol of rebirth, as the old moon dies and then comes back to life.
The girls are the stars, connecting to the father sky. The boys are the sage, connecting to the mother earth. The stars and sage are constant throughout all seasons.