A foot of snow pack, melting fast on a rainy 60 degree, to be followed by an ice storm made for a foggy, beautiful day the other day.
There were a few bigger events in the area so our corner of Vermont was quiet for this stage of the summer tourist season. It wasn’t the most profitable morning, but as I sat across the street from the Episcopal church in Arlington, I was sure I could see the leaves of the maple tree in front of the churchyard cemetery changing color.
It marked the first official day of autumn for me — an unexpected and pleasant little bit of something that cost absolutely nothing.
In any other garden, these would be weeds. On the dunes along Lake Michigan, they’re delicate blossoms that, in concert with the dune grasses that cover the sandy bluff, prevent erosion with an effectiveness human might and engineering has yet to match.
We’re vacationing this week in southwestern Michigan along the great lake. I had big dreams of spending the week painting the water and the weather which never fail to inspire.
Thing2, however, was also inspired. The absence of glowing screens combined with an abundance of immediate and extended family helped Thing2 rediscover the joy of corralling parents and grandparents into card games and rounds of Monopoly highlighted by rules he makes up as he goes along.
When we finally got down to the beach, I was happy just to soak up the surroundings. I did a few quick studies and photos of things that may become paintings later. I’m starting to think, though, that the most important part of painting the landscape may be actually experiencing it — and the rest of life — while you’re in it.
Thing2 seems to agree.
This is a bouquet of blueberries I painted for my mom who is in the hospital right now. She should’ve gone to the blueberry Festival in South Haven Michigan last weekend, but instead she went to the ER.
She’s on the mend now, but I think the scariest moment for me in our relationship was Saturday night to say she was going in for surgery. She sound worried, and she never sounds worried. I’ve watched her merrily making blueberry muffins with a waterspout making a beeline for her kitchen and ask if anyone wanted butter at the table for them, so when she was worried, I was worried.
I’m a mom, but worrying about my mom made me feel like I was five again. So, when the person who taught me everything I know about mothering and unconditional love got sick, I did what I would’ve done when I was five. I made her something.
We will be together in a few days, and I’ll give her as big hug as possible. For now, it really is the positive thought that counts.