A reluctant writer, I hardly know when it is appropriate to share what’s going on as a mom, woman and an artist. So this blog hardly ever gets updated.
Most days I am trying to capture the winter trees out my kitchen window, the changing colors of the mountain, and learning how to live with a son who is an Iraq veteran with PTSD. Those sketches can take forever to finish, as the weather transforms my winter landscape.
It feels as if, it is the first time I have drawn this mountain view, every time I put pencil to paper. Seasonal changes dramatically alter colors and forms, and that forces me to slow down and look. Someday I will capture that feeling of being in this lively landscape.
Right now I am drawing this view as a meditative experience. Getting lost in the purples and blue greys in winter trees, has a way of pulling my mind away from worrying about my Iraq Veteran son. Grateful to have these compositional and drawing problems to solve, and wishing I could as easily help him heal his war wounds.
I am a midwesterner at heart- loving the seasonal changes in woodland forests. Last week I led a group of women from Chevy Chase, MD on a hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. We were enveloped in the fall colors against Sugarloaf’s quartzite rocks. Her trees are in the early stages of the fall burst of color. Tupelo, Black Birch, Tulip Tree, Red Maple and Persimmon were glorious shades gold, crimson, citron and tangerine.
These women get their hands dirty working with soil, they are attuned to plant diversity and microhabitats. So I shared tree ID clues and various habitat preferences, knowing they would be interested in how these plants adapt to their specific part of the forest. Every time I lead a hike I learn something new about the mountain. This time I was struck by the number of persimmons on the summit, we all got a chance to see and taste those amazing berries. And for many on the hike their previous experiece with persimmon was the cultivated varieties in the grocery store. I encouraged them to taste the ripe fruit and I think I have a few more converts to my favorite tree.
It was a wonderful day to be on Sugarloaf with kindred spirits. Maybe if I finish work on a deadline in time today I can get back on the trail to my Persimmon Tree.