An Artist's Quest

This Is It

March has been a stormy month here at The Bishop’s Ranch.  We are all grateful for the rains but wishing for a spot of sun all the same.  The trees I painted in this painting are already trading their frilly white and pink ballerina tutus for something more sturdy and solid in a pale shade of growing green.  The moments pass quickly, this week like the last has sailed by with lists and to-dos and deadlines and a sense that there is never enough time in the day.  But in a moment of reflection at last Sunday’s service here at the Chapel of St. George, Pat Moore, our chaplain, shared a few thoughts on the Lenten lessons.  She had recently gone to a celebration of her stepson’s entrance into a Buddhist order, at the ceremony there was a sign along the back that translates, this is it.  She challenged us to remember and reflect on the phase throughout the week.  This is it; there is no other day, no other moment than this.  My own musing on this phrase got me thinking about a series of books that my son loved when he was little that we read aloud to him for hours.  The books are the Redwall Adventures by Brian Jacques, which chronicle the heroic adventures of the mice and other rodents that populate the series.  Along with the adventures the author describes, in great detail, the marvelous feast and festivals the characters enjoy.  A tradition of these Redwall Abby dwellers is to give the season just past a name, such as Summer of the Late Rose or Season of the Silver Fish, a label for the time that points out some extraordinary and beautiful event or encounter.  I am describing this to you because I got to thinking about this idea of naming an important event as a frame to a period of time, a marking, a remembering.  What if we did that but not to describe a whole season but to describe a day, to seal its beauty and pleasure in our mind?  The idea came to me on Monday when I went for a walk and saw a wild turkey with his tail unfurled into a fan of unexpected astounding magnificence.  I thought to myself I’ll call this The Day of the Turkey Fan.   Tuesday was dubbed The Day of Dumping Rain.  Wednesday I named the Day of the Smiling Clerk, then Thursday revealed itself to be Day of the Snoring Dog.  And today what about today you ask?  I don’t know yet, it will reveal itself; something will cross my path today and remind me this is it.

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4 responses

  1. Val

    What a beautiful, reflective post. I too read the Redwall books to my children. British authors seem to have a way of connecting with nature and the seasons so well. I grew up reading about badgers and fairies, acorns and flowers, deep forests and wind swept meadows.
    And l love naming the days. It gives me an idea, at last, for one of the art journals I am working on. Although there is that science fiction movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still. I’m not ready for that day yet….:-)

    March 30, 2012 at 7:50 am

  2. We loved the Redwall books and I have fond memories of getting lost, for what seemed like hours at a time, in the adventures of those endearing creatures. I also remember, with some sadness, the time when our children let us know that they would be “O.K.” reading to themselves. I LOVE the idea of naming a day, and even the season. I may begin that today! Thank your for your reflections.

    March 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    • I know that time reading to a child was so cozy… and the shared experience of story and the anticipation was wonderful. In those Redwall books the chapters always ended with such a cliff hanger and I’m pretty sure it was one of those books that sent Ivan off reading on his own. We still snuggle on the couch to read occasionally on a lazy weekend but our noses are in our own books or these days just as likely an electronic device… ah me sweet memories.

      April 2, 2012 at 8:59 am

  3. Mary Anne

    I have a new email address and have been trying to change it to ensure continued delivery of your blog which I enjoy. Since I don’t think I have been successful, I am sending this address change as a comment!

    New address: wjsmap@suddenlilnk.net

    Your blog and the accompnaying art always is welcome. Thank you! May the blessings of Easter be yours….

    April 4, 2012 at 7:09 am

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