I scooped up the R’s, their mother J, and their pal I for a long-awaited watercolor afternoon at Morton Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor. I’ve lived here for 12 years, and yet I’ve never really explored this beautiful place. It has a maritime forest, dune bluffs, beaches, marshes, and shady paths where chickadees will perch on your hand if you have bird seed for them. [Okay, if you forgot to get seed, and all you have are bread crumbs, they’ll light, stare at your palm in confusion, and fly away. Ask the kids how they know this. The path was declared “Chickadee Heaven” anyway.]
We set up our plein air studio on the deck (thank you, Park Service!) that sits on the sand between Little Peconic Bay and Noyac Bay. Here I, J, R and R are facing Clam Island, that mound of green in front of them. Three of the five of us immortalized that view. [We’ll probably hold a group exhibition once we get an agent.]
So we became artistes for the afternoon. It was incredibly bright, and hard to photograph, but you get the idea. The day spent together and outdoors was absolutely delightful. [We’re not counting the moment when one R tumbled backwards off the bench and landed on her elbow; but it’s okay because nothing’s broken, and she gets to wear a sling for the next few days.] Our paintings make us smile. The R’s are my favorite people in the whole world, and their mother and I have been best friends for 33 years.
This is where I get to live. This is available to me every single day, if I choose it. My world still contains tragedies, sorrows and heartbreak, just like yours does; but I can always turn to these friends and these surroundings for comfort and reaffirmation. I’m blessed beyond measure. After yesterday, and after Katrina, I am counting my blessings and trying to share them.
Knitting, you say? Knitting? I am one foot away from finishing my cabled scarf; my knitting group starts up again this Thursday (yay!); I’m making a big old Rhinebeck Wish List. That’s the knitting right now!