Monday, June 8, 2015

Across the Prairies

#trip_the_light has been on the road for 10 days now and I am dreadfully behind in my blog posts but wonderfully filled up with painting and writing material for many months to come.

I last posted in Northern Ontario where the beauty was boundless and all encompassing.
I am so in love with the landscape and how it is always changing and revealing different aspects of itself. I am currently reading PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon and it is an eloquent and deep exploration of one particular landscape in Kansas. The book is full of delightful quotes but this one struck me in particular was this one:

I like to think of landscape not as a fixed place but as  path that is unwinding before my eyes, under my feet.

To see and know a place is a contemplative act. It means emptying our minds and letting what is there, in all its multiplicity and endless variety, come in. 

-Gretel Ehrlich "Landscape," introduction to Legacy of Light (1987)

This seems to be what we are doing as we travel these marvelous routes and roads and allow the places to speak their own language to us as we pass through them.

     
A wooden suspension bridge leads the way to Ouimet Canyon.


   


Ouimet Canyon where we spotted a nesting Perigine Falcon and once again my breath was taken away by the beauty of it all. The land feels so alive in this wild state.

Aguasabon Falls, Ontario near Terrace Bay

We travelled through the Lake of the Woods area and marvelled at the endless waterways and lakes punctuated with rock formations from the Canadian Shield that made me want to photograph and paint for days on end.

Then comes the relatively quick transition to the Prairies. My home landscape that always calls out to me as I drive through it. We stopped at the Mennonite Heritage Museum in Steinbach, Manitoba just as it was closing but the kind woman at the desk let us in to take a peek at it anyway. Steinbach is the home of my ancestors who came here when fleeing the Bolsheviks in the Ukraine.


That night we ate farmer's sausage and vereniki in a Mennonite cafe which brought back a lot of childhood memories for me.

The sky opens up and you feel as though you are soaring through space. We crossed the prairies under a tumultuous sky that gave us a spectacular cloud and light dance as we moved along the ribbon of highway.

  



   
These trembling aspen were a big part of the Saskatchewan "bush" that I grew up in. I remember them as magical guardians of my imagination. This is where I would create and build and listen to the natural world as a child. Their trembling, rustling leaves evoke fond memories and I consider them to be old friends.

We stayed overnight in Regina, Saskatchewan where we walked along the river and visited the Mackenzie Art Gallery. This is where Walt and I thought it would be fun to imitate the Joe Fafard sculptures...Life imitating Art.



The journey continues...

















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