When one thinks of natural wonders, our prompt for today, these could refer to the world’s largest waterfall or the magnificently expansive Grand Canyon. But, as ever, I chose something small and simple as I think flowers themselves count in this category. Recently, I discovered essential oils, meaning, I had to opportunity to try various ones and found it a rather intoxicating experience. Truly, it was almost a bit much for me in the concentrated form, but a rather cool way to bring nature indoors. And after the experience, I found myself much more relaxed and rejuvenated so there’s certainly something there. It’s hardly surprising really, as any interaction with nature always provides a calming effect. Also, I tend to avoid painting flowers, as they aren’t my strong suit, and wanted to push myself to try and practice them a bit more. I adore flowers, so it’s perfectly odd that I don’t paint them more often. And today was a touch stressful, so I wanted to paint something that felt healing and beautiful.
In truth, today started with quite a bit of stress as we had to take our little dog Phineas in for some medical tests. He had a slightly elevated calcium level on a recent blood test, which can often point to various types of cancer. Since he’s only turning 10 in October, the idea that he might already be experiencing something life-threatening was difficult to imagine. After being poked and prodded over a two hour period, with various long and arduous bits of waiting to learn the results of each new test, Philippe and I were emotionally exhausted. Phineas just kept staring at us as if to ask what all the fuss was about. He was not a very willing patient, so the first hour was spent waiting for a tranquilizer to kick in, which he fought heroically, but still managed to calm him enough to get the needed tests completed. When the final test revealed no suspicion of cancer, we were insanely relieved, though we are still awaiting the results of the final test to hopefully determine the actual root of the problem.
Phineas received treats soon after and seemed completely unfazed by the experience. As we were walking back into our home directly after the ordeal, however, it was Philippe who started to cry. All of the stoic bravery that had existed during the experience was melted down at last into a flurry of suppressed emotion. I didn’t attempt to comfort him. I instead, just joined in and let my own emotions out as well. We cried together. It was a cathartic experience where all of those imagined thoughts of something awful meet tears of actual joy. Our little Phineas is going to be okay. And later we’ll take a long walk together as a family, enjoying every little flower and plant we see along the way just a bit more. Phineas will most likely sniff and pee on them, but that’s just his way of experiencing the outdoors. Odd, to be sure, but I learned long ago to never question his methods. Life on this little green planet is short, so one should experience it to the fullest in whatever way feels most natural. As my little family watches the setting sun, thankful for many more days together, I’ll mostly likely be lingering just a bit longer, to marvel at the healing effects of nature.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!