I can’t remember exactly hold old I was when I was riding in the backseat of Mom’s car on the way up to Corunna. Mom and Jean were in the front seat, chatting away. I was in the backseat. Bored out of my skull.
It was about this time of year – April, maybe a few weeks earlier. I remember it being drab and grey and brown. Rural southern Ontario as the seasons pass from just-past-Winter to not-yet-Spring.
I didn’t know Jean very well, although she’d been occasionally present in my life for much of it, more as a passive presence rather than an active force. But that changed that day.
Jean asked me what I saw when I looked out the window. My response was similar to “a whole lot of nothing. It’s just grey.” Then she showed me a different way to look at the world, and it has stayed with me to this day.
“An artist would see it differently.” She said. “They would see a million different colours. They would see reds in the wood of the trees and the shrubs. The yellows and golds in the dried grasses and last year’s plants. Silvers and shades of white with hues of blue and green and yellow. All of the different browns and blues. The reflections of colours in the remaining snow. Dozens of different browns and here and there shades of darker green in the conifers.”
My eyes have never worked the same way since.
Now, sometimes the subtle colours of March and April can be overwhelming at times, when I stop and give them the attention they deserve. And all of the different textures add depth and sensation. It’s a quiet world, but it has a lot to say.
Thank you, Jean. Wherever you are.