Our most recent Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge was based on this line from the e.e. cummings poem "Maggie and Milly and Molly and May" -
"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea."
I have spent much of my life (so far) living near the sea, love the scents, the breeze, the sounds. As a child, we had a summer house on a Cape Cod bay. The first few years we owned it, before high school sports, and jobs, and schedules won out with their relentless demands and interruptions, we went to the house every weekend. There would be a loud and frenetic packing of the station wagon each Friday afternoon and we'd head off on the hour+ drive down and over the bridge, with a quick stop at the A&P on the rotary just before the Canal. We'd spend the weekend, playing cards, doing jigsaw puzzles, walking the beach, fishing, even playing an expanded game of hide and seek which took us, and invited friends, through yards, over shed roofs, under porches of the empty-for-the-winter cottages in the neighborhood. We would enjoy a roast beef and potato dinner on Sunday night and pile back into the car, sleepy-eyed at 6AM Monday for a rapid drive back north, us tumbling out of the car into the school yard (in our plaid uniforms) as the bell was ringing to begin the day.
Now that I have my own family, I realize what coordination was involved to get a family of seven packed, and organized for these wonderful weekends.... resulting in two full days on the Cape! I spent hours sitting on the end of the dock, feeling it float with the waves, listening to the creaks and groans of boats tugging at moorings, buoys, watching gulls drop shellfish on the wharf, listening to the lapping waves and enveloping myself if the sensory joy of the sea. This month's challenge brought back those memories. My painting conjures up that sea-air-in-the-face feeling that I crave when I'm away from the sea too long.