Part 3. Bird Blind and Thunder

In my previous Blog I spend a delightful afternoon making a brush and ink drawing of the local landscape, a meadow framed by aspen trees and a forested ridge. After I come to a stopping place in the work, I take a break while the paint dries. I love to wander around and watch for surprises like the small wildflower nodding at my feet, a delicate purple with a spreading form. It is probably a Fritillary species. Debris under the aspen turns up weathered wood, a bird feather or two, a lost pinecone, deer tracks, and forest duff. The decaying vegetation is a preparation sign that new life will start again. Old life nurtures new life.

A warm breeze carries the aroma of meadow grass, pine trees, and moisture from the marshy areas. It’s a restful warmth, and that is why we have come here—to rest from everyday life. I breathe deeply of the fragrant air. I want to fill up. It’s not good to run on empty. Everyone needs a time apart, a chance to come away and rest a while.

Late afternoon clouds are building up. I’d better hurry in case it rains. I pull out my Rapidograph pen and carefully add lines to shape aspen trunks, foliage, the Hellebore, and distant forest. With pen I stroke in more grass at the base of the trees and emphasize some of the scarring on the white trunks. I leave a good share of brushwork unmarked by pen to ensure a variety of line. With my smallest Sumi brush and a bit of grey paint, I lightly brush in the deer so that it stands out as a silhouette against the meadow. I then add an ink line or two to strengthen the form. That’s enough. Time to stop and none too soon.

A low growl of thunder prods me to hurriedly pack my gear. I’m glad I came to the meadow for a second look, but thank goodness ink dries fast. I slip the sketch, board and all, into a flat plastic protector. I shoulder my pack and head back to camp. The bird blind project is in full swing. Using binder twine, the poles have been lashed together in fencelike structures. The crew is now discussing how to set them in place. It will take some system of corners and bracing, and probably a few more Boy Scout knots.

Thunder growls again. The aroma of fresh rain mixed with a sprinkle or two sends us scurrying to stand under the awning. When rain doesn’t materialize, we step out to view the clouded sky. To our delight, a wide, misty rainbow shimmers directly overhead.

What is there about a rainbow that lifts the spirit? Unexpected joy, infinite space, and something more? A sense of blessing as real as the rainbow permeates our camp. It hovers over meadow and forest, the distant ridge, and the abundant life here, of which we are a part.

Have you ever felt that sense of rainbow blessing?


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