Sunday, February 24, 2019

Spring Tumbles In... and Winter Staggers Defiantly Out

                                  "Springing out of Winter" - oil on oak panel 10 x 17 inches

Although this plein air moment, painted directly from in front of our Rockport home and gallery on January 13th of 2013 the drama and mood of this very view repeats itself almost seamlessly for February 24th, 2019.

Two days ago ice spanned this inner channel view almost from shore to shore. Water appeared only where strong river current prevents total freeze over. The ever constant rhythm and flow of the River has always seen to that. Every winter.

The ice simply disappeared in the center of the channel overnight and a pathway grew steadily eastward. Within hours... a flotilla of graceful mute swans were able to work their way slowly westward against the current between the mainland and Club Island. Springtime Magic!

"Winter Rotting Away... Irondale River" - plein air oil on canvas 20 x 24 inches SOLD

The earth... scarcely bare and seen only in select southerly facing places offers a further testimony and promise that Spring is close by. One who pays attention can smell spring and even taste it in the very air that suddenly is abuzz with new visitors to our yard and feeders. Long absent goldfinches and mourning doves enter the feeding frenzy usually dominated by squadrons of selfish sparrows.

The din grows... as do the numbers of new arrivals. Chickadees, nuthatches, slate breasted juncos, blue jays and our timid resident cardinal pair add new voices to our springtime choir. And cheeriness - the underlying gift that Spring offers... fills every corner the winter wearied world.

On Friday, February 22nd as I moved about my Saturday morning ritual of preparing our garbage for pick up. I stood almost awestruck by the unmistakable trills of male robins - not heard here since their fall departure to southern warmth. Not just a single voice... but a grove of several who were obviously the vanguard of newly arrived migrants seeking to establish breeding ... and bragging rights. All played out just to gain the attention of the yet to arrive females.

Though Deb and I continue to struggle to regain our health and freedom from the painful clutches of this dreadful and unrelenting pain of the sciatica that we both have had to endure... for far too many months... Hope on the wings of this unexpected breath of Spring has arrived.

None of us can hope to be free of adversity, sadness and uncertainty in our daily lives. Each must
play the hand we are given with courage in your hand and heart. Be grateful for your blessings... and the precious gift of life and life in this magical Eden.

I am greatly blessed. Life is about living and since having to suffer helplessly alongside our lovely Allison for the pain-filled duration of her courageous journey, Deb and I fully committed ourselves to do our best to live our lives fully... in her honor. Plain and simple.

Change is indeed in the air in the natural world about us here in Rockport. But change has already been put into play by Deb and I as of February 1st. I turned the ripe age of seventy-five on February 11th. We feel that changes are warranted and timely for us both. We have set the wheels of change into motion.

Today... I wanted only to add another post from my roost here on my beloved River and to share it with my small but faithful blogging family. What remains to be told for the future...

Is a story for another day!

Good painting... and an early Happy Spring to All!

                                               "A Sweet Taste of Spring" - 20 x 16 inches

                                                       ... Coming your way SOON!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Joy... to the World!!!

Life ... on a different plane

Today... I am setting aside earlier obstacles which darkened my spirit to share with you a gift of pure magic which has been sent by the Universe to minister to the deep wounds that our family has endured since our beloved Allison's untimely and tragic passing. Let me set the stage for today's post using the lyrics from a simple favorite childhood song... likely familiar to most of us.

"Twinkle... twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are.

How I miss each of those "Little Folk" and their bell-like voices! Unfettered angelic voices... filled with wonder and Hope. Pure spirits willing to risk. Eager to share their messages. Unafraid (yet)... to express their own thoughts and ideas without fear of comparison, or rejection.

The simple language of this childhood anthem fully encapsulates the very essence and purity of each child and early childhood in general. Children's voices so easily bring to life the beauty and sense of celestial Joy gently to earth. 

I offered my own children a painting to share each Christmas which acknowledges  the presence and importance of special stars in our lives. Here is "River Spirit"the very first of three... which I gifted to Allison and Andrew. I proudly feel  that this painting records a common joy we shared which owes its origin one such star,Venus... or as it is called, the "Morning Star." Actually, Venus is a planet which offers the bright and twinkling essence of the lyrical star.

It rises low in the east... just ahead of the sun rising climbing steadily heavenward and disappearing ever so gradually into the light of the sun until late in the day at sunset. It suddenly reappears as the "Evening Star" to signal another day's end. What a metaphor describing  life... don't you think???

On the clear starlit morning of January 30th, I arose later than usual for our morning coffee rendezvous and found Deb perched... and peering intently southward. She turned to me excitedly like a child... tears streaming down her cheeks and exclaimed joyfully,"Come and see this Hon. I wanted to go and get you up to share this with you - it's so beautiful.  It's Allie looking down and assuring us that she is okay... and still with us."

There it was... the fingernail moon tugging the Morning Star ever so slowly up higher into the heavens. In Deb's own loving innocence and child-centered spirituality she often chooses to express her love to her loved ones with this mantra:

" I love you forever... to the moon and back... a gazillion times!"

It is how she ends every contact and call to her beloved grand gals... Ava and Ella

This celestial pageant was unfolding just for us in the southern heavens on that morning and will remain special to us both. The morning magic ratcheted up further when a totally unexpected early evening telephone call arrived from Joan (Allison and Andrew's Mom). She proudly announced the earlier-than-expected safe arrival of a new wee Sherman family member. Reese Allison, our newest addition weighed in three weeks earlier than expected at six pounds and five ounces... and measured nineteen inches in length. Tiny by any standard.

"JOY to the world!... a child is born!!! 

We are so greatly blessed! Gratitude instantly cancels out the weeks of sciatic misery. The Universe has again sent a message of Hope to help ease and erase defeat and despair. I am so very proud of this new addition. She carries forward the spirit... and the name of our beloved Allie and not just in name only.

This child is blessed to commence a life piloted by two loving, caring and capable parents who will offer her every opportunity in life to be filled with love... joy and opportunity. I know that hey will encourage her to emerge as a free and creative spirit just like her namesake. Andrew, Melissa and Reese's siblings have welcomed her with wide open and loving arms.

I will close out today's special post with pictures that so eloquently reflect my words. Pictures... really do replace the weight and value of a thousand words... or brushstrokes. Judge for yourselves... and enjoy!

Thank you for your continued presence and support. You have absolutely no idea of the value of your generous gifts to me and my family members.

God bless you...and guide you Melissa and Andrew!

Rich blessings... and Good Painting to ALL!!

                                        Mom presents your new baby sister Reese Allison

                                        Lots of love, warmth.. and skin - But Sorry .... No milk!!!

                                                         "She's my Baby Sweet Heart!"

                                                             "I'm your... other Mother!"

                                     " The first of many cuddles and quiet moments Reese."
             Thank you for this loving gift Melissa! We share your love and pride in your gift.

"You're a keeper Reese Allison. And I see a look of Gramma Joan on your face too !!"