Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Self at 49

I'm turning 49 tomorrow. Natural progress, there's no fighting it. The salmon are running finally, I saw two today during my walk, their red bodies listing right and left in the shallow pools beneath cedar trees. I am encouraged by the progression and vitality of nature, how it slows but does not stop, there is no dormancy as we perceive. Each day begins and ends as it should, I hold tight to the structure I place on each one and together we move along. The winter solstice is nearing. The darkness won't last forever. It occurred to me this afternoon while I was lighting the stove that I need to embrace this time of hibernation because in 2 short weeks we will have experienced the longest night of the year and will then embark effortlessly on the path to summer, the switch flipped. The days begin to lengthen slowly at first but lengthen they do and before I know it the afternoons will be long and light. Natural progress. I am not struggling as I have in the past, maybe it's this new age but I feel excited about everything again. I am hopeful and philosophical, I suppose I am always that way but often I feel like it might be a facade under which  is concealed something rotten and dying. That is only part of the story because even the rotten things make way for new growth. Look at the salmon coming up Kinney Creek. 40 miles they have traveled to these spawning grounds, their flesh, in some cases, falling off them. They lay their eggs and then die and rot on the banks of the creek. I can smell them even though the air is cool, rotten fish permeates the creek air. The smell of progress.

I made my first oil painting over the weekend with the help and guidance of my sister-in-law, Paula. The whole process is quite backwards to water color but I can certainly see the appeal and will try another one shortly. My mantra, dark to light, seems appropriate for the time of year. I have also been documenting my walks lately in greater detail as I am working on this sketchbook project. The portraits I envisioned for the sketchbook have not quite materialized but there is still time. The practice of walking daily and being observant is most pleasant and nourishing for this part of my journey upstream. Hello 49, welcome.


stacee said...

Wishing you the happiest of happy birthdays, Rowan! Looking forward to another year of reading your always thoughtful, thought-provoking words here. xo

Rowan Moore Seifred said...

Thanks Stacee, your kind words keep me at it. I hope we can lunch together once you're back and all settled in.

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