by Linda Heistman
Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Well, the participants of the Senior Health Activity and Recreation Program (SHARP) proved that they still have artistic ability.
We visited VIEW on Wednesday, April 6 and used acrylic paints to capture an Adirondack scene.
Lauren Fix was our instructor and she was a great help, so encouraging and fun.
We all came away knowing that more visits are in VIEW.
While painting at VIEW, I remembered many visits to such Adirondack scenes.
The bent pine trees, the mountains in the background, and the beauty that comes with it.
Once again I was reminded that I am living the reality of a long-imagined dream.
I thought of the very first time I camped out in one of the secluded backcountry spots within our Blue Line.
First was the long ride to get to the back road, bumpy and wild, providing a memorable prelude to the experience.
Usually on camping trips like this, the long drive is followed by the business of setting up the tent, gathering wood and preparing a fire for the evening meal.
But I temporarily put aside those necessities.
Instead, I allowed myself to be still and use my senses to take it all in. I touched the peeling bark of a fallen birch.
I sat on a stump and breathed in the fresh clean air and calming smell of pine.
I looked around at the varied hues of green and brown; saw the squirrels scurrying here and there, the birds fluttering and chirping.
And then I just listened. At first, the traffic sounds of the long car ride were still buzzing in my head—trucks with their loud motors, occasional horns sounding with impatience, the approach and retreat of other cars as they passed mine, my car’s complaints as it navigated the bumpy road as the way grew shorter.
I slowly breathed in and out, letting the drive and its necessary concentration go.
I thought for a moment about the allure of places such as this.
The solitude and solace with their wild and beautiful aura draws more than the outdoorsman.
It also attracts the artistic eye, the creative writer, and other sentimental souls.
I felt myself relax and really listened; only the scratching of the squirrels, the rustle of branches in the slight breeze, the delicate songs of the birds…I listened deeper…and then I heard it from within and knew.
I could no longer just imagine living my life at the edges of the wild. I needed to live somewhere like this.
Reason brought into my view the sacrifices, the rewards, the pros and the cons.
There it was, something that had been in my heart, a yearning that some would describe as a calling (like the call of the wild.)
I suddenly realized this is what I had been searching for.
This is where I could find peace and calm. I knew right then, in that moment…it was love at first silence!
SHARP is a free program offered to all independent senior citizens from Woodgate to Raquette Lake.
We meet at Niccolls Memorial Church in Old Forge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday.
Lunch during our regular Wednesday sessions is provided by the Community Health & Wellness Fund (formerly the Town of Webb Health Center Fund.)
For more information, call or text (315) 225-7553, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check our Facebook page anytime for updates. Search: SHARP