Landscape Painting by Cindy Morawski
Whish-sh-sh--ss! Turning too quickly on the uneven pond ice, I remember that scary moment of knowing I was going to fall. I grew up getting ice skates for Christmas so I could enjoy skating the frozen ponds and marshes in the pasture below our Pennsylvania farmhouse. After watching the women's figure skating on TV this past week at Vancouver's Winter Olympics, I not only have a whole lot of respect for triple toe jumps but also for skating backwards faster than a speeding locomotive. Yes, I've been reminiscing and romanticizing about snow and skating and sled riding in a cold climate that also forces you to plan like a war general when you venture outside to run to the store. As an adult, I know that life is easier when you don't have to battle those severe elements, but when I watch the winter olympics every four years, I'm suddenly propelled through time to long for that stinging wind on my face, eyes watering, as I race down an icy hill on my wooden sled. Memories are funny like that.
I digress. I meant to get right to the perfect moment of a perfect day. I'm sure you've felt it before. It's like there is some kind of universal alignment to allow you, a mere human, a glimpse of paradise. That's what it must feel like when an olympic athlete gets it more than right. That moment in the spotlight with the gold medal, while you're hearing your national anthem play. There are all kinds of perfection. It doesn't have to be olympic gold. In fact, I felt it that day when I was hiking with Paul and my dogs Phineas and Rusty. We had just descended from the highest point in the park and were following the Lost Maples East Trail. I felt that late autumn warmth on my face as I turned the corner to suddenly view a pond of water that reflected the November sunlight. It beamed to me the reflective beauty of that perfect day. I couldn't have been happier. I had just been handed the gold medal! Whether the ponds are frozen or not, they still have a life-long attraction for me. Not the ocean, not even a lake. Just give me a little pond, and I am reassured that life is good.
My landscape painting comes from that perfect day. I entitled it November Sunlight at Vanderpool. It measures 11 x 14 and so far is unframed. The setting is in Lost Maples Natural Area in Vanderpool, Texas, a great place to camp and hike. Come visit me at my home's gallery, and I'll show you my latest paintings, plus, offer you a cup of tea and a dollop of conversation as well.