Sunday, April 13, 2008

a walk and a thought

The predominant colours outside this weekend is dull. We've had a rainy dreary weekend which seemed void of anything remotely colourful. If you were to take a quick wide angle glance, a swipe of vision, most likely you'd be inundated with grit brown ground, grey gloomy skies and a dark river chilled with ice floes. Snow still lingers though it is the ugly slushy kind.......a mixture of granular ice, leaves, salt and what will eventually be loamy mulch that will feed the lawns and gardens. Remnants litter the sides of the roads and pathways.......castaways ranging from tennis balls to forgotten touques, all soaked from a long winter covered by this year's accumulation of snow. It seems like we are surrounded by a brokenness only felt during the transitional time of year when we all need time to stretch the moans out of our hibernative lives.

But, if you slow down and give yourself time to focus, your wide angle glance has a chance to settle on the beauty of the bruised land. And if you quiet down the noise, you can hear the choir of birdsong warming up as they return to greet eachother after their winter vacations south of here. At first, the chirping and warbling comes from an invisible place........then all at once, you SEE them, along with the squirrels and other small animals flitting and flying and scurrying about, busy in their work building new homes.

I went for a walk this morning under the grey gloomy sky, along the gritty grey road, up the hill from my home to the road I often venture on. Every season, this road, with a view of the Saint John River Valley has offered pleasing multisensory gifts......... and I wondered if I could find one today. I wasn't disappointed. Chickadees, sparrows, robins, starlings, a couple of morning doves, a big crow..........all showed up. Some where tucked in the branches of the trees and I only spotted them because I heard their cry and so I stopped to look more closely.

And there they were..........little chickadees tucked in amongst the brown bare brambles with a flint of yellow on the wings winking at me............robins, so busy, busy, busy dropping down on a spot of bare grass and meeting up with their freres in an old maple tree. They were everywhere. Beauty was the soaked fields still covered in snow, in the reflections along the river bank down below, in the brambing branches of the alders along the side of the road.

I realized as I walked back down the hill towards my home that what I had seen perhaps was the artistry of realist painter, Andrew Wyeth who had the ability to capture the beauty in the lonely solitude of a dreary early spring day like no other. Life has so many hues and sometimes when we are in a frame of mind where our own melancholy mood reflects upon the landscape, we can't see the various tints and speckles hiding like treasure for our weary eyes. It takes a softening of our senses to welcome the opportunity to see our world through the eyes of appreciation.

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show." Andrew Wyeth


Sherry said...

There is so much to see & hear, even in the starkness of nature. Your writings always spark something in me, and today it was a reminder of Andrew Wyeth. I used to love his paintings, but haven't thought much about them for a long time. I went back & looked over a few of my favorites. So, thank you, Dana, for the walk & the thoughts.

Awareness said...

Hi're very welcome! I hadn't thought much about Andrew Wyeth lately either, but it sure hit me when I was out walking today.

Under there... said...

That whole scene that you described and captured in the photographs brings up one word to me---peace.