Lost in thought, she painted without brushes, a technique she shared with me, her granddaughter. My grandmother, Mary Agnes Davis Wall, was a talented artist who specialized in landscape and portrait paintings.
Decades after grandmother’s lessons I meander downstream, a paddler in the current. Stroke after stroke, slicing through the water, my blade enters at the catch, following through with fluid cadence and quick release to the finish. A repeated action, over and over, while banking the canoe ever so slightly as I arch turns around each bend in the river, silently calling “huts” with each shift of the blade. Moving paddle across gunnels from one side to the other, I guide my solo canoe swiftly down the fastest course of the flowing river, lost in thought.
A Great Blue Heron, standing at the water’s edge, lifted its mighty wings in flight soaring ahead, just above the wetland following the river. Each time I caught up, the heron lifted off again in the lead, lifting my spirits and thoughts. I felt alive and invigorated.