We are so lucky to live next to a beautiful park.
The park is not just a place for the occasional picnic with friends or where kids go to play on the swings or people take their dogs for a walk. It is all these things and so much more. It is a cathedral that I visit again and again to reaffirm my faith, wonder and awe of life .
Whenever I am stuck with a particularly difficult painting I am working on or if life just winds me up, I don my shoes and head out to this holy of holiest places. Making my way along the paved walkway that takes me past a large playing field , I am distracted by children practising tee ball, parents sitting on blankets cheering on with anticipation as little Billy steps up to the ball, bat in hand, eye on the ball, tongue sticking out of one corner of his mouth ready to give his strongest swing. Suddenly, I feel an unexpected wet nose sniffing my ankle. It belongs to a friendly Schnauzer and as I stoop down to play with it, her owner comes up to reveal that Kelsy loves attention. All three of us exchange pleasantries, Kelsy wags her tail, I fawn over her and Kelsy’s owner beams at me. Now my bad day is looking up. I continue my walk, threading my way between trees all the time aware of the whistling of the wind in the foliage up above. I may as well be in a concert hall listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Overhead a tiny fantail warbler is furiously protecting its territory by beating the living daylights out of an apparently good-natured raven. I kid you not!!
Now I walk through the woods. The trees here look like they have come from Lord of the Rings , dark and brooding and moody and festooned with orange mushrooms. The air is thick with scented eucalyptus gum trees. I look across my path to find a cyclist speeding in my direction, behind him a white Maltese puppy is running as fast as its little legs will carry it trying to keep up with its owner.
An hour has passed and I head home, my head now bursting with new ideas for textures and colours and impressions of the outdoor cathedral I have just visited feeling that life is just too interesting to be wasted on a bad mood .