I like to play my guitar on the back steps, facing my garden. Beyond the garden, the back end of Porridge Forest sprawls. Over the years different birds have flown through the garden and perched on the fence to watch me. I accepted their coming and going as part of the notes of the song I was playing…or should I say – we were playing?
The evening I’m writing about a hummingbird landed on the top wire. Facing me with wings folded and a shrug from each shoulder. Hummingbirds are seldom still. It isn’t in their nature. I expected the hummingbird to leave. Five songs later, with no pause between…the hummingbird had stopped shrugging his shoulders and replaced it with a slow nod of the head…
As it started to get dark I was asking myself silent questions like:
“Do hummingbirds fly in the dark?”
I never missed a beat on the guitar and my voice soared…that is how it is when you have an amazing audience. One that is obviously affected. Just as the last of the light was in the sky I leaned forward and said:
“Shouldn’t you be going home now?”
As if on cue – the hummingbird flew and I took my guitar inside.
Ask me about the stages I’ve been on and my back step at Porridge Forest is still my favourite.
Katie Kidwell is a cheerleader for creative hearts everywhere.With experience in music, writing and art.Her inspiring stories on the creative way she has lived are here on her blog “The Living Of Loving”.She also works as a commission artist.
In light of the recent rain and lightning…I am reminded of the worst lightning storm in my experience.
It was the summer of 2016 at Howard Lake, camping in the isolated spot we call “The Legend”. Where we are right on the water, under tall pines, and looking down the lake towards the far end.
A few days before an American couple and their dog had stopped by our camp for a visit.
Our talk turned to the weather and I was asked if I had ever seen the “blue flash”? I had never heard of it. He explained “When a bolt of lightning comes down to earth – the earth rises up to meet it with a blue flash of her own. The man telling me this had spent his life looking for this phenomenon and had yet to see it.
The next day I started a new painting. I was working with a fish shape I had in my painting “Raven’s Land” and with something still new to me – “canvas paper”. I wanted to play around. So I did. I even used a Raven’s feather with the paint. It turned out pretty wild looking.
It suited the night to come…
The flashes and bolts of lightning were continuous through most of the night. The thunder shook our motor home. Thank God we were on rubber wheels and as long as the trees stayed put… I decided my fish painting would be called Storm Fish, with the second title of Thunder andLightening.
The next morning I met the American couple on my walk. He was definitely excited about the night.
That’s right! He saw the blue flash and wanted to know if I had seen it too?
No, but in one of those lake flashes, I saw a boat with a man in it wearing a sou’wester. In the next flash and thunder boom, he was gone. Blink…Blink…
For 12 years I was the Gardener at my parent’s “Splendour View” Garden. I joined the “Seeds of Diversity” and learned the art of seed collecting. Through the catalogue, I was able to send away for starter seeds and plants. I received specimens from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.
The multiplication factor of seeds and roots never occurred to me until I became a seed collector. You start with “one” or in some cases “two” and before long there’s a multitude.
One of my fondest memories is seeing my mother standing under the tall umbrellas of parsnip seed.
“Look at all this life!” In her own unique holy way, my Mother was always giving credit to the creator for being so wise. “Look at all the people fed by one plant!”
Oh, how I miss her.
I look at my family and I see the results and surprises of what my parents planted in our lives. Multiplied and still sending out roots and shoots!
So in this Garden of Life where I have more than I need because it’s designed that way when you receive- I give you this experience. The truth of multiplication!
In 1976, while I was living in North Vancouver, I wrote “Lullaby”. I composed it just before I went on the road working as a folk-singer for Whitefoot Entertainments.
So before the travel, the crowds and playing the Top 40, I wrote what I was fascinated with, in music. The idea you could sing a note out to nature and nature would take the note out to the universe and back. I still believe in this.
I love Howard Lake. It is off the grid and there are no lights around the lake.
I put some of my father’s ashes on the lake there and later as I was to get out of the boat I mysteriously fell in…
You should know, I have received visitors there. The likes of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and for my friends who often listen to the earth…I once heard it there. I am afraid to describe it as I have yet to talk to them about what they heard…
The fishing is great. Except the last fish I caught at Howard played dead and I’ve yet to figure out the significance of this. I let it go, at which point it came to life. Like I said, I Love Howard Lake!
Water Colour Paintings from Howard Lake
In the picture above “Oneness”, depending on your browser you may see an “orb”. I did not put it there. It showed up after drying on the back of the couch and while I was cooking supper in our motor home. I have seen orbs in photo’s. I did not expect to see one in a painting!
Do you have a favourite place to paint? Here’s to your adventure painting!
This poem “The Secret” was in my mother’s Grade One Ontario Reader. It was one of her favourite’s. If you know who wrote it let me know. I took the liberty of writing a lullaby for it many years ago.
For my 2017 Parkside Show “The Little Birds that Fly” I artistically arranged the poem on special paper in a special frame along with this painting, “The Cradle.”
A SECRET (from the Ontario Readers First Book)
I know of a cradle, so wee and so blue, Where a baby is sleeping this morning, —-do you? I think he is dreaming the dearest of things — Of songs and of sunshine, of tiny brown wings. I’ll tell you a secret, — don’t tell where you heard, — The cradle’s an egg, –and the baby’s a bird!
The Song “A Secret” (composed and recorded by Katie)
“A Secret” can be purchased as an mp3 download for $1.00 US Secure payment with PayPal or credit/debit card
I was an early riser at the ranch. Cows to milk and feed, horses to feed,
chickens…well you get my drift. If I wanted a coffee first I really got up early!
One winter with the tiniest of light on our Long Horn Meadow I saw a huge snowman. Right smack dab in the middle of the meadow! Of course it was my imagination but I thought it would be so neat if my family could see it too.
So I’m not sure if I wrote the song right away or if I fed the animals first…but I did follow thru on what I saw. This is how my song “There’s A Snowman Out In The Meadow” was born… On a cold winters morning!
(Guitar players…this is an easy melody to play. Have fun! )
There’s A Snowman Out in The Meadow
There’s a snowman out in the meadow A snowman big as Life And how he got in the meadow – You’ll have to ask my wife.
For the children in the forest, Asked her if she could play… And they built him out in the meadow Just the other day.
There’s a snowman out in the meadow A snowman smiling at me And the shape they gave the snowman Looks a lot like the letter “B”.
Oh he’s big around and “rolly” He’s awesome in a snowman’s way And I met him out in the meadow When the sun was far away…
The owl’s were there in the evening The birds at the break of day Then the sun began it’s journey And the snowman ran away…
But a sound I heard this evening From the forest there was a sigh… Oh the snowman’s back in the meadow