For our prompt of “Sugar Skulls” today, as we begin our November Art Challenge, I sketched a brightly painted calavera decorated with cempasúchil flowers. ¡Feliz Día de Muertos! This beautiful Mexican tradition is about reuniting the living with those who have passed on through a joyous celebration of remembrance. I’ve always loved the idea of this tradition and the soulful and colorful way it honors those who came before us. As I was painting this, I thought of my grandmother, who I miss dearly, yet I always feel a sense of warmth and joy whenever I think about our times together. It makes me happy to remember her quit wit and sharp humor, and when I reflect back on those stories, it fills me with love, and quite a few giggles. Her sense of humor was passed down through my family in a way that made every gathering a jubilant experience. Though the people we cherish won’t always be with us in a physical sense, they are never actually gone as long as we continue to reserve a special place for them in our hearts.
This time of year is filled with many lovely family traditions and I think that’s why I adore autumn the most. It’s always felt like a season filled with warmth, even when the temperatures drop and the cold air returns. I find myself trying to make sure we’ve made plans to see our small circle of close friends before the year ends. Last night, Philippe carved a jack-o-lantern in honor of Halloween, which he does each year. The tradition remains, but the size of the pumpkin has gotten much smaller over the years. This year, it was just a little pie pumpkin that he quickly carved before dinner. My favorite part is that he roasts the seeds for a snack. And now, thanks to a recipe from a good friend, we also enjoy a pumpkin and mushroom lasagna for the main course. Our puppy Elliott wore his red glow collar and we played laser tag with him in the cemetery next to our house as the sun was setting. We haven’t told him that some “kids” get to go door-to-door acquiring treats, so he wouldn’t feel like he missed out on anything truly amazing.
It was a quiet evening as we don’t get trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. I was thoroughly enjoying the quiet comfort of being home with my family near the glow of a pumpkin and candles. Elliott was worn out from his evening of play and the three of us cuddled up to relax for the rest of the night. These are the moments that I want to remember forever. They’re not always the ones that come to mind first. Those big life events or large gatherings from the past usually maintain an over-sized role in my memories. Yet, I feel we’re the most “us” when we’re doing things that aren’t particularly noteworthy. It’s the purest iteration of what it means to be a family. Beyond the traditions we share, it’s the time spent in comfortable silence that defines us most. And, the memory that I was simply part of those exceptional moments is all the legacy I’ll ever need. The most valuable recollections of those we love can always be found in those indelible memories from the heart.
About the Doodlewash
Sketching Stuff Coloring Set – Da Vinci Watercolors: Charlie O’Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Benzimida Orange, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note and I’ll add it to my shop!