Friday, September 21, 2007


It’s my next-to-last paint day in the park. I’m taking advantage of a window in the weather to hike back to the meadow on Maple Loop Trail. I pack my minimal paint kit so as to give my knees an easy time, and hike the mile. After all the more demanding hikes, this one comes easily. I set up on a flat stone and contemplate the pattern of dark trees against the colorful tapestry.
It is a day of sounds, of wind dropping down the mountainside in concert with the moving clouds, of whirlwinds whispering in the grasses behind me. Of picas, squeaking from rock piles to my left and right, and of the high crystal whistle of the marmot. Sound textures enrich the color textures on my canvas, the tall reds of mountain ash, low-growing burgundies of blueberry, straw-green grasses, dark velvet of fir trees, rusty rustling tow-headed seeds of long-gone flowers.
When I pack up to leave, I have collected what I came here for.

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