nostalgia on rustling feathers

I've lived in Edmonton almost 3 years now, and it's been wonderful! I've met so many neat people, got a job in one of the coolest cafes I've ever worked in, learned many new things about coffee and brewing methods, and been able to share my painting with an entire city (well, almost...but word is getting around fast!). Sometimes Edmonton is very overwhelming. There's lots of traffic and lots and lots of people. I'm thankful for the green spaces, but sometimes I really miss living in Red Deer. One of the things I miss most about Red Deer is the trail system. Edmonton's trail system is pretty great, from the little bit I've seen here and there....but I don't KNOW it like I know the Red Deer trail system. Gershwin and I walked it all the time, and I've spent many hours at Mackenzie trails park having picnics with family and friends over the years. I lived in the Waskasoo area right before I moved and I was elated! I lived in the neighborhood once before and was so sad when we moved. It was right by the river, a 10 minute walk from the Kerry Wood Nature Center and the trails were a block away from my doorstep. Plus, it was a very out-of-the-way neighborhood. Traffic came through to go to the nature center, high school or because you lived or were visiting someone. Sheer bliss.

The park I just mentioned was a place my mom and I used to walk in all the time when we lived in Waskasoo the first time. We were walking one fall and noticed the pond was FULL of Canadian geese. There must have been at least a 100. We sat on a bench by the water just watching and listening. Then one would start honking....and soon others would join in and then the group of about 6-15 of them would take off and begin the first leg of their migration south. The flew RIGHT OVER the bench we were sitting on. They were so low I could hear the rustle of their feathers as they moved. It's still one of my favorite memories of hanging out in that park. (Right after taking grade school classes for pond studies and watching some of them slip down the muddy slope and into the pond....but that is a story for another blog I think!)

This painting reminds me happily of that day, sitting on the bench during a beautiful indian summer in late September and watching the geese depart with the last wisps of summer.

'meanwhile the geese, high in the clear blue sky...' (taken from the poem 'wild geese' by Mary Oliver)

pencil, acrylic ink & acrylic on birch panel, 24" x 30"


My friend Carmyn (who I mentioned in yesterday's post) gave me a lovely journal of recycled paper last summer. She wrapped it in plain brown paper and copied the poem 'wild geese' on the front in white pen. I absolutely LOVED the poem and unbeknownst to her, the Canada goose is my favorite bird. I kept the wrapping from the journal (and the journal, of course!) and had it framed because her writing is so lovely. In deciding where to hang the poem, it inspired the idea for this painting. So....once again, I blame her.

Having friends who inspire you sure is a lot of work. First world problems, right?