Sunday, November 27, 2016

Two Winter's Tales... Tale # One

This post presents my long time perspective on life and its impact upon the human experience. Life is built upon paradox. Simply put... "for everything (in life) there exists an opposite and equal effect to be exerted and experienced."

Usually, the two opposing and polar opposites seem to be suspended in perfect equilibrium. Neither appears to dramatically dominate or persist for an indefinite period. The middle space or fulcrum of life maintains a suspended sense of harmony.

November physically presents a physical manifestation of this precarious fulcrum in the natural world. Just lately, our family gathered at a lovely upriver cottage to celebrate our belated Thanksgiving during a weekend. What began as a truly "Indian Summer" experience with wonderful October-like weather and colour changed dramatically and abruptly into an early and unexpected snowstorm nightmare... even by river standards. The pendulum had swung without warning... catching us all in an unprepared and bewildered state.

What had just earlier been idyllic on the Saturday morphed into distinct danger and bewilderment for all of us attending. Even more so for my son Andrew, his wife Melissa and their two young children Mr. Mac and newly-arrived Whitney. It was again idyllic for Deb and I because it was our first opportunity to see and be with grand baby Whitney... and HOW VERY GRAND she is!!!

They had a four to five hour journey to return to their home in Southwest Ontario on a most treacherous and heavy truck-travelled 401 Highway. The highway was already being reported as being hazardous for travellers on travel warning information sources.

While they did manage to crawl home safely, the effects of the sudden storm continued across southwestern Ontario right into the Thousand Islands and Rockport throughout Sunday evening and into Monday. We awoke Monday morning to nothing less than a fully-fledged winter.

This complete version of winter with all of its trappings of a first major winter snowfall still continue to arouse the child and artist within to get out and "play" in it. It seems to me that the first snowfall always to erase the drabness and absence of real colour that too quickly gave up ghost and vanished along with October. Or perhaps... on this particular gloomy moment in my life... it helped to erase some the darkness that lurks too uncertainly about in the corners of my mind.

Andrew had asked if we might "board" Tilly, their eleven year old vizla "paw person" because of the hardwood floors in the borrowed cottage. Tilly had experienced a nasty fall when her long-nailed paws splayed out suddenly and the ensuing fall injured her sufficiently enough to discourage any sense of trust in slippery floors.... or in skating on hardwood floors.We had always enjoyed her company and welcomed her visit with open arms into our midst.

We did the usual grand"paw" spoiling routine with treats and copious walks... both quite extraordinary bits of attention in her young child-dominated sphere of daily existence. She caught on quickly and rebelled and sulked, as was her custom when Andrew came to fetch her. We willingly offered an extended vakay opportunity and Andrew accepted because we all had an appointment to attend with Allie's oncologist on Thursday. No sweat!

It was during one of our more extended walks into that new snowy world at the beginning of the storm that I suddenly became aware of countless design patterns that winter offered to my open mind and imagination. So great was their combined influence upon my "imagineering" nature that I dashed home... picked up my camera and warmer clothing and headed back out immediately into what I knew would be temporary and rapidly changing conditions.

Rather than fill more space with colourless expletives, I will shift into the visual language that we all share and understand in degrees to reveal and share my experience with you. Please enjoy... First Winter Snow... Rockport in 2016 !

"Islandsview"... wrapped in her fluffy, soft ermine winter costume... fifteen to twenty cm deep!

Leaves grabbing snowy white light by trapping snow... against a contrasting asphalt backdrop.

Snow-laden spruce gloves sheltering its roots from the storm and its cold

Many hands outstretched... and entwined... anxious to be part of the grand design of winter

Do you see what I see....???? I wonder... A painting perhaps???

Even fences carry the signature gestural handiwork of the sculptural hand and eye of the storm

Be they natural and wooden... or man made and metal... their architectural aspects are simply enhanced and magnified by winter's touch.

Top to bottom...

Side to side... snowy creations untouched by the human hand or mind... yet!

Here and there colour is permitted to seep through and contribute warmth and variety to winter's frigid tapestry of designs

Leaves play back n' forth... either accepting or rejecting winter's invitation to dance

Rapidly dying fall berries are given a reprieve... and willing step forward to become truly...  "fall preserves".

Final dashes of autumn red accents make fitting accessories for winter's white gown...

Even the tiniest of the towering spruce family members stand tall on their own... perhaps for the very first time.

"Stairway to Heaven"..... Remember that "oldie-but-but-goodie" folks??? But no... this one is a "cover"  that I prefer to call "Stairway From Heaven"... HA HA!!

Because this is the view seen in the opposite direction

And on this snowy day of Thanksgiving... there is this a propos snow-covered reminder that...

"All blessings... including the clean winter snow... fall from the Heavens... from the hand of Whomever you wish to worship and give thanks."

Be thankful!....

What could you do with this infusion of creative juices... images and ideas? Whatever you wish!... and with my fullest permission and blessing to do so!

I will close out today's already too lengthy post with this one last image from our now sleeping garden. These three pink tea roses hang on... even thrive, when the rest of the garden has gladly surrendered to winter. Like these hardy and grateful pink roses, I squeeze out the very last drop of the succulent juices that enrich my journey!

I am greatly blessed... and remain grateful... but greatly tested this morning.

Stay tuned for Winter's Tale # Two to follow...

Good painting and a belated Happy Thanksgiving to  ALL!!!


  1. The world never fails to turn up surprises for me. On looking at your photographs and reading about your snow and winter conditions, I shake my head in wonder. Here on the West Coast of Wales in Fishguard, we have only had snow once in the last six years. Despite that, we are quite a bit further North than you: we are 52 N and you are 44 N. The Atlantic air flow might be stormy and wet but it keeps the snow off this little area of North Pembrokeshire.

    Nevertheless, my Granddaughter Giselle, her sons and husband will find it cold when they arrive from Australia for 6 weeks over Christmas. My son will be home from France and my niece and husband from Dubai.

    A houseful at Christmas is a blessing.

  2. Winter has never been my favorite time of year, but your words and photos are very enjoyable to me as I sit here, fairly warm and content with a hot cup of ginger tea to wash away the bad dreams of the night. How wonderful that you all spent time together for your belated Thanksgiving - and that you are enjoying your grand-dog in your winter wonderland. Wishing you only good news from the doctor's appt Thursday.

  3. Good morning John... All of us becomes so transfixed by our own personal and geographical realities... that we quickly forget that both of these are ours alone... when we travel completely around the globe with one click of the mouse to share a blog posting. It's still a VERY BIG world!

    A house full... of family... at any time in the year is a very great blessing! I am discovering and appreciating that more by the day!

    Good Painting... and Rich blessings to you and yours!
    Warmest regards,

  4. Good morning Rhonda! ... Thank you for your visit and thoughtful and encouraging comments.

    Granddog has gone bye-bye... but the momories remain as sweet and soothing as your hot ginger tea. Having Tilly about helped to somewhat dispel the gloom and worries surrounding Allison's illness. They hang like ever-present and threatening dark clouds... believe me.

    Wishing you sweet(er) dreams... and Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  5. Wow! You got so much more snow than we did! You have to admit, it sure is pretty! I am glad that your son and his family made it safely home. It always is worrisome traveling with two little ones in inclement weather.

    Hope that Allison is well!

    Best wishes!

  6. We did indeed get a surprise "dump"... but Mr. Golden Sun has already taken care of that first surprise for us! All that remain are fugitive slivers to remind us of the fickledness of winter.

    Allison has joined Andrew and family in Rockwood for a further visit... so Gramma Jaon can get her "Grammdma fix".

    Allison continues her journey of courage and Hope... along with all of her family - my Self included!

    Thanks for your visit and encouraging words Wendy.

    Warmest regards,

  7. Good evening Bruce. What a sudden transformation! Snow is perhaps the only thing that can bring about such a change; it literally blankets the landscape and softens all the forms. That's part of its magic I think. It's lucky that you took the opportunity to get out with your camera, since it's all disappeared just as quickly!

    All the best, and special wishes for Allison,

  8. Well after what I have just posted I feel a bit of a wimp! I don't do well with the cold though I appreciate it's beauty and your photos do show that off. I love looking at the details and patterns that snow and ice make. The icing on the cake? What a gem Whitney is! You look so good together :o)

    I am hoping from the bottom of my heart for good news for you all today. Keep on keeping on..

    Best wishes.

  9. Good morning Keith!... Thanks for checking in... I have missed your presence and paintings on line!

    As is most always the case... we are on the same page in our thoughts and connection to the landscape. One can find ****BIG Magic****... even where others find cold and discomfort. Glad that this is true for me!

    Thanks for your continuing kind words regarding Allison's health; they mean a lot to me!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  10. Good morning Lisa!... Glad that my photo walkabout around our wintery village brought you pleasure.

    Whitney is a beautiful new addition to our growing family; a much needed healthy diversion from the struggle our family has been engaged in for over a year now alongside Allison.

    Thank you for your ever-comforting support and kind words regarding Allison and her struggle... much appreciated!

    I love your new stormy interpretations from your end of the world as well. You make "blues".... beautiful and serene! Thank you for that!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  11. I thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughtful posts, Bruce - and this one included all those wonderful snowy photographs! Having moved from snowless southern California to Reno, Nevada, where we experience definite and blustery winters, I find myself deeply enjoying the trans-formative and uniquely beautiful aspects of snow. Thank you for this post and my best wishes to you and your wonderful family.

  12. Thank you for your visit and for your encouraging comments Susan. It's wonderful to share our ideas and experiences with other kindred spirits. Glad that you enjoyed Rockport in Winter!

    Wishing you those same good wishes and an early Merry Christmas!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,