Forest, British Columbia

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.