Chapter Forty-two Hemlock
Forest, British Columbia, oil, 1932, 130.0 x 86.8 cm, Location: Vancouver Art Gallery, VAG 42.3.9.
© Vancouver Art Gallery
Voluptuous curves of foliage coaxed her to enter deeper passages.
She felt the pull of a viridian seduction. Lips of leafy drapery
seemed shaped in folds and waves leading to purple openings to
secret places, a womb in the forest where a fallen hemlock
hosted a swarm of insects in its bark. Insects singing their
mating songs, larvae, pupae, seeds celebrating their fecundity,
cones opening, sap oozing, draped boughs undulating from trunks
connecting earth to sky, everything vital, everything expressing
a divine Spirit, God filling all space. A single swirl of
energy--birth, growth, feeding, breeding, decay--all of
it continuous Life, teeming with mystery, and she a part of it.
She felt an incoming and an unfurling, a momentary mindlessness,
a long-awaited union, a beautiful silent oneness, and she was
left with an unutterable calm.