Monday, March 4, 2019

Life on the River

My life on the River that I have been blessed to have grown up on has helped shape the very person that I have become. Throughout my entire seventy-five years, she has offered me an unceasing sense of belonging and nurturing that continues to enrich my spirit and zest for living.

She has conducted my rich outdoor education program upon which my knowledge and respect for all things wild is built upon. That same knowledge became the crucible and engine for my creative activity.... both en plein air and then carried into use in each of my classrooms, as well back into the studio.

The solitude and silence that she provides has continually stilled the reoccurring anguish and confusion... in a world driven too much by money and technology. Her banks, channels and bays provide undefiled refuge for all living things - mySelf included. "Still waters... it restoreth my soul."

Life did necessitate my leaving all of this at certain points in my journey. But I never found myself able to feel comfortable without the presence of water nearby. So I rooted those early chapters beside similar sources in Kingston located on Lake Ontario... Nova Scotia and the Georgian Bay area. I added regular trips to Algonquin Park during intervals when I was not living within sight of water. Thus I always found ways to support my need to be near water.

At the close of our tenth season here in Rockport we came jointly to a firm decision to close The Paint Box Gallery permanently... not solely because it wasn't enjoyable or lucrative, but rather because we both were experiencing health issues that made continuing a struggle. It was necessary to decide upon a course of action which provided less stress and greater latitude to grow in different directions with new opportunities together.

We made a firm decision to travel upstream fifty kilometers to Kingston... located on the shores of Lake Ontario. I enjoyed a rewarding twenty-seven year teaching career in that picturesque and historic city... so it was an easy decision to make. Hospital care is conjoined with Queen's University offering the best of medical services.

Culturally, there are unlimited opportunities and facilities to engage in and enjoy. What's to lose? A no - brainer, as they say. So the search for an acceptable new place to hang our hat was begun back in the late fall. A sprawling student population has all but swallowed downtown residential opportunities and have driven up the rental costs astronomically.

We had almost given up hope of finding one for ourselves... when the Universe... ever so mysteriously laid a perfect one in our laps. Perfect in every way. A condo, meaning no more stairs... no more property maintenance... no more hordes of noisy, rude and invasive visitors.  The condo has everything in the way of space and amenities  that one could ever wish for at our time in life. We snapped at it right away.

So ... this will be my last posting from the village of Rockport. No longer did we find the village a refuge with peace and contentment. Like so many quaint places... or Paradise as we had earlier known and experienced, $$$ brought with it a need for substantial changes which did not serve the well being of all residents.

We have enjoyed our stay here and our relationship  with so many fine people who we have been blessed to live with. We shall carry fond memories of them and the "glory days" that we shared as a community of like-minded people.

High on that totem of Friendship are the eight individuals who made our quicksilver move to Kingston possible. Without them... we would have been lost.We will ALWAYS bee indebted to each of them. We are indeed blessed to have such people in our lives!

We are now fully embedded in the move... and establishing new directions for us both. We are still searching out answers for that rotten sciatica we both battle with still. But that is a small issue... and too... will come to an end!

Spring is indeed in the air here. But reluctant.. as always... to fully commit!

Rich blessings to ALL!

I wish to close out the Rockport chapter with this appropriate thought that I clipped out of a magazine a couple of years ago. Somehow... I always seem to find a suitable place to insert them into my thoughts and writing.

Life on the River

Send your worries downstream
Watch every sunset
Let the current give you strength
Have lazy days
Take walks and play in the sand
Make memories.

                  From Renaissance Magazine (Summer 2017 Issue)
                  - a sign at the Sulphur's (??) cottage

And sweet River memories will remain in my heart... no matter where my journey leads me from here. I am deeply blessed...

"Minuet d'hiver"- (River Dance) 1st take
  30 x 36 inch oil on canvas