The Owls Arrived Late That Year

5x5 on salvaged wood block

Kay and her little sister, Bea, were told as children about the legend of the owls, how if you were patient and waited in Euria's field under the first full moon of winter that something magical would happen. Granny Betts said that if you were lucky enough to spot each of the ten owls as they flew overhead, it would be something worth getting cold fingers and toes for, something life-changing and grand. "Your deepest wish granted," she'd whispered and Bea had spun and clapped. What could be better than a wish granted?

The first full moon came and went without any sign of the owls. The girls decided to try again and waited under the second full moon of winter. Perhaps Granny Betts had the story a bit wrong or the owls were just late. Granny Betts had sworn and spat, hadn't she, saying that was how she'd saved Daddy and wished him home safe from the war. They waited hours and nothing. Teeth chattering, icicles hanging from their arms and hats, they were heads down and stumbling for home when a white owl swooped down from the darkness and landed on Kay's arm...

It's wonderful the stories that are imagined as the paint goes from the brush to the wood. I never know what story is waiting when I sit down at the art table. This painting was done in the summer and the scanned image caught my eyes this morning as I was searching for a photograph I had in mind to restore. (That's where a lot of my time is going these days.) I realized I'd never shared it on the blog and here it is almost winter. I recall painting it when our air conditioner wasn't working and I dreaming of how wonderful it would be to feel cold, to burrow under blankets and see my breath moving in wisps on the air in front of me. The thought makes me laugh now that the cold weather is upon us and upon us in a big way, and I have been dreaming of beaches, blue water and tank tops.


Heather Brush said...

I seriously think we should collaborate and make this a picture book.

Tiffany said...

You should try going out to hoot up some owls. They're mating now. :) I remember watching their shadows swooping over the snow at my grandmother's house.

And oh, I can't wait to get the chance to see all you've been up to! This is lovely!

amy said...

Love your art always!
Your new blog banner is wonderful too.
Have a fun holiday season. Be good to yourself.

Rella said...

Totally breathtaking. Wishing you a beautiful Christmas filled with love and joy.

xox Rella

Relyn said...

It's Christmas evening and we are having a lull before we start cleaning up all the happy messes we've made. I wanted to stop by and wish you the merriest of Christmases. May you and your family enjoy laughter, love and peace. May you feel all the love that we feel for you. May you truly know you are blessed. Sending you much love! ~ Relyn

Debi said...

how did i miss this? it is magic. this painting makes me stand still, and the story? also. i wait for the owls here each year and nighttimes stand under the trees and follow their sounds. they are a gift, as are you. thank you for this.

Rella said...

Stopping by to wish you and your lovies a most precious and joyous New Year. May 2011 be the most amazing and beautiful year yet for you.

xox Rella