Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Miracle of Spring

There is so much more to painting outdoor then simply adding paint to canvas. Taking time to wonder and to really see the world around you is one of its greatest joys. The truth of this was brought home to me today as I sat in the sun next to a pond painting the tree study above.

Spring is such an extraordinarily exciting time of year. The air virtually vibrates with energy as days lengthen and new growth emerges from earth nourished by life-giving water moving through the ground on its march to the sea. As I painted near a muddy seep at the bottom of a hill I thought of the miracle of life that lay at my feet.

The movement of water in the mud was nearly invisible to the eye. Only by sitting and staring at a water filled deer track did I begin to be aware of its gentle flow ebbing towards the marshy pond in front of me. This particular pond, several acres in size, has no visible outlet. It is encircled by higher ground all around. To leave this pond water must either evaporate or flow underground.

To the east about a quarter of a mile is a large marsh with open water at its center that wildfowl love as it has been set aside as a sanctuary. On its eastern edge is a small freshet that falls quickly to a channel running north and south. Water in this channel flows north towards Vermilion Creek then to the Looking Glass River and finally the Grand River which empties into Lake Michigan near Muskegon.

As I considered the muddy deer track, I envisioned it's scant cup of water flowing along underground eventually merging with the waters of the nearby sanctuary, then racing down the eastern freshet to the channel and beyond on its trip to Lake Michigan, over 100 miles away. As a child, the book "Paddle to the Sea" fired my imagination and today, many decades later, water oozing in a muddy deer track reignited the miracle of a Spring thaw for me.

1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

Your words combined with your painting are stirring. You are not only a gifted artist, but a wonderful writer.