Susan Garrington


(posted on 21 Jun 2019)

Happy first day of summer to you!

This evening Brian and I will be attending the ceremony to celebrate our grandson's and his classmates' graduation from elementary school. It seems fitting that it is taking place on Summer Solstice for as one Canadian writer, Margaret Atwood, says of solstice:"This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year's threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath."

The past lets go..... I find myself once again missing life with a wee one, a toddler. First it was his mother and now it's him. I miss watching the world through the eyes of a small child, seeing the exquisite sense of wonder, the sheer pleasure in discovering the world. But I must let go of the past to revel in the accomplishments of both my daughter and her son. They are the future.

The place of caught an artist I am fortunate to be able to occasionally rediscover that "place of caught breath" while working on location. It doesn't happen often, but when it does "everything begins to yes",(e.e.cummings). In this place everything is sketch worthy. Every tree, rock, path, plant, wildflower, cloud, calls to be examined in wonder. My head spins and even as I am working in my sketchbook on the selected subject, possibilities swirl through my mind. I return home and fill my sketchbook with wonders. Eventually I make paintings.... lots and lots of paintings. This has been known to continue for more than a year. I may leave the place for a bit to paint something else but I always return to the place where the past is becoming the future. And then, just a suddenly and with just as little warning as it started, it is over. And so I continue to sketch and to paint waiting for the next "caught breath" moment. I don't know when or where it will happen but I do know that it won't happen unless I am somewhere sketching, somewhere it can find me waiting.

And so tonight our family will celebrate a milestone in our grandson's life. Brian and I will catch our breath and note how quickly time is passing. We will give thanks and celebrate summer and rejoice in our summer plans and I will quietly and privately give thanks and rejoice that the "place of caught breath" found me waiting and sketching recently.

May your summer be filled with family and fun and the occasional caught breath moment. Happy Summer Solstice.