It’s mid-March in the Midwest. It’s cold out; and it’s been so cold for so long that my bones feel cold. I try to boycott winter; going coatless on sunny days or taking long walks despite the bitter wind. The memory of summer keeps me from up-and-moving nearer to the equator.
On a day like this, I consider what it’s like to wear sandals and thin skirts, sunscreen and hats that are more for shade and fashion than retaining body heat. Thinking about last summer, a favorite memory popped into my head. My son, an adolescent artist, had asked me to come outside and draw with him in his little pop-up tent. “Heck yes!” I replied.
The tent was so small that I had to sit only partly inside, with my head ducked down. It was on the grass, under the shade of a tree. It was windy that day; but not so windy as to make it a hassle to draw en plein air. I had my sketchbook and a brand new set of colored pencils. My little guy sat next to me and went to town with his own drawings. But what did I want to draw? I began with a dot.
A day or so before this pleasant afternoon, I had heard news that a dear relative had passes away. Spending this time in the tent, half inside and half in the spotted shade from the tree, choosing colors and drawing freely, was therapeutic. I ended up sitting there long after my son had finished and moved on to play elsewhere. Thank goodness for art as a way of expressing emotions.
Before too long we’ll all be able to enjoy summer again, and doing things like sitting under a tree and drawing, as the sun itself draws its own shadows across the day. (Oh, and it’s not that I hate winter–I just love summer.)
Until next time,
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