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)
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
I recently found this poem in an old steno book. In 1995, I was four years away from living on the ranch and now on 3 acres. Musing about how the world would look from the eyes of a deer…a long time ago.
From The Eyes Of A Deer
Have you ever wanted to travel
The fields of Yesteryear?
Just to see the way things looked…
Perhaps from the eyes of a deer?
When everything was wild
Wild and alone
In overlapping wonder
This Earth at Peace, at Home.
And silence so enchanting
The air of every note
Conducted from Divinity
The Master Heart has wrote.
Your senses filled to bursting
The return to Now you’ll dread
For hit with sudden living
You’ll recognize what’s dead.
Travelling to Boston a few years ago I took this photo of Walden Pond where Henry D Thoreau loved to be. I imagine he saw the world of yesteryear through the eyes of a deer and more. Lucky are we that he wrote about his nature experience.
On the last Christmas my brother Terry was alive, I heard a loon. From the top balcony, outside his house it came, drifting down Sheridan lake.
I had stepped out to be by myself. Admiring the stars and the way the snow wrapped itself on the tree’s. Here and there a Christmas light poked through on the tree closest to the balcony. Having enjoyed a beautiful Christmas dinner with my family I pondered there. The haunting sound of a loon answered. I looked down the lake thru moon light and shadow only to hear it again.
“Loons in the winter,” I thought. “Was it possible?” So I went downstairs where the men hang out.
“You’ll never guess what I heard…a loon on the lake!”
I had to speak a couple of times. They seemed to be unaware of what I was saying. Then it came:
“Oh no! That couldn’t be…,” they chorused.
Perplexed, I went back up the stairs and stood by the large glass patio windows. The night was bright and the stars were dazzling. Turning to face my sister-in-law Roberta’s shelves, I was deep in thought. I know what I heard.
Faintly, like whispered murmurings, the sounds of a nature tape. “Oh,” I thought, Roberta had this on so low she must have thought she had turned it off! Would this tape have the sound of a loon on it? And if so, how did it get outside, increase in volume and come down the lake?
Today, I remember my brother Terry with the only craft he ever made. Dad had shown him how to make a loon box out of wood. He only made a few so I bought one before the other’s went into Roberta’s store. This was the summer before anyone knew… Now I have his loon box and the mystery of the loon I heard after our last Christmas Dinner with him.
Did the loon call come from the tape? How did it find its way into a beautiful night and setting? I often think of it as the Christmas Loon and it makes me think of my big brother.
“Shake a paw for a treat!” Sam and Boots with Terry 10 years earlier @ Christmas 1988.
Today I was invited out for Moose Chile with the Canim Lake Elders! There I presented my painting and story about Weswisxe. Here is the story which follows the painting. Also a note of thank you at the end.
by Katie Kidwell (a story as shown in the painting)
The Great Spirit, the Father, lives in the sky and at night the Star People dance for him.
Silhouetted by the night, the Mother Robin sits on her nest like she is a mountain and her nest is the earth where life is born. Notice her chicks in the nest as valleys and hills, rivers and lakes.
When you see the mountain in the robin; she sees you with starlight in her eyes. In the light of her beak her words are now a song.
The Father lives in the eyes of the Mother’s children. His light glows like the cool part of a flame. Together, in the nest, the Mother and Chicks are a living fire of Life. A campfire where the peoples of the Earth can gather and remember the star dance. The dance of flying over mountains in the breath of the Great Spirit; the dance of living and of being alive right here on Earth.
With twigs and with moss we build our nest…and live like a mountain.
My note on this: I am grateful to a Canim Lake Elder who expressed an interest in my painting: “Robin and Chicks” at my show, The Little Birds That Fly. There she told me the Shuswap name for Robin was “Weswisxe” and wrote it down for me. I promised her a painting with this name. The story came along for the ride and I am grateful to the wisdom of the Great Spirit in using every opportunity to reveal His presence. I trust I heard him right. If not, I will hear about it around the campfire…