Monday, February 28, 2011
Plunging Barefoot into Spring
Iris Pools, 10x8" pastel by S'zanne Reynolds
Stuck downtown at 4 p.m. in traffic that seems to be going nowhere fast...I turn around and head to "Lady Bird/Town Lake" (the Colorado River) to while away the hours in a canoe rental. Not exactly dressed for water, I throw my Birks into the bow, roll up my pant legs and wade barefoot into the cool waters to shove off.
My vermilion vessel submerges into the cool, dark-green crystal waters of a painting in my mind...making a nice compliment to the scene if I could remove myself to see it. She glides over bits of cerulean blue heaven and rippling gold reeds refracted in her wake. Beneath her hull, sunlit shadows reveal leafy tentacles swaying in a magical mermaid emerald forest of quiet lights and darks. Just above the surface, statuesque log-piled turtles suddenly make tactical dives to hide from close observation.
Swarms of seasonal coots, black duckie-like birds, coo and cluck all around me. These mud hens have white markings on their beaks which are mirrored on their sassy white-tipped rumps so when they fish, bottoms up, predators can't tell their heads from their tails. Isn't Mother Nature clever? Their beady red eyes make them personify a rather sinister cartoon...what characters!
Everything seems to be anticipating the arrival of spring. Early tree buds dapple in the light against the distant mists of grays, golds and young greens...as the arch of a bridge captures the day's last light, rebounding on the river.
Bright orange and yellow sunkissed paddles playfully slap out a rhythm...swoosh, splish, splash...swoosh, splish, splash...as they sing out from all sides. The wind pushes my canoe wildly about until I circle round and lie back, looking up dizzy with spring's promise of renewal through the treetops.
Trains moan and traffic buzzes. Geese honk and lovers smooch. Youth and beauty run by at a steady pace. I think of the young man's hand I used to hold.