Simple Pleasures: In Memoriam

by Laureen on August 14, 2013


Colleen Watson “The Rocks are Like Jewels” (watercolour/paper)

The day my sweet, troubled, 14-year-old kitten died, I walked up into the hills near my home. Usually they’re dry and brown by the first of August, but this year’s hills are green. Unusual summer storms have caused hardship for ranchers and the rain has made everything late, but the grass is lush with good health and as tall as a Saskatchewan deer.


Colleen Watson “Snake Pit, Grasslands National Park” (watercolour/paper)

I wandered in the quiet for an hour, letting the peace seep into my soul. Then I walked back into the valley and went home. That night at the animal hospital, 120 km/75 mi away from Val Marie, the veterinarian couldn’t have been kinder. My kitten went to sleep peacefully on the floor where he had found a spot he liked and lay down in. My oldest friend was with me; we said our kitty good-byes. The trip back to Val Marie in the dark, late at night, was slow and long, and sorrowing.

I will mourn that special cat creature for time to come. But memories of a difficult evening will always be mixed with memories of an extraordinary afternoon. Walking where it feels like no one else has walked. Grasses grown up to my hips. Beds for deer as comfortable-looking as downy mattresses. Spring-time roses still blooming in mid-summer, next to August flowers I can’t even name. Rocks the colours of flowers. Sky clear and crystal blue, a view to the edge of the world. Silence.


Colleen Watson “Wood Mountain Hills, GNP” (watercolour/paper)

Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make the most difference. May your simple pleasures make a difference to you.

These paintings and others by Colleen Watson are available for purchase at Grasslands Gallery. Just click on the image.

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The blog is a series of posts from one artist/art gallery owner’s life in her community in one of Canada’s most beautiful and remote wilderness regions. To receive updates with beautiful images, stories about the Grasslands and its artists and inspiration every week, just put your email in the box on the right. We never share your email address.


Angel RIP (Photo: Pamela Woodland)

(This post is for Jamie Ridler.)


Pamela Woodland August 15, 2013 at 8:31 am

Colleen’s paintings provide a sweet counterpoint to this sharing, Laureen. The sadness of your cat’s demise and the aliveness all around us. Life in all its colours.

Laureen August 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm

You made such a beautiful portrait of the Angel. I’m so glad to have it.

Norine Leibel August 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

So sorry about your loss, Laureen. Our lives are so enriched by these furry angels, these friends who stick with us no matter what, and we never forget them.

Laureen August 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Oh, Norine, thank you. He almost drove me crazy sometimes, but it was true love nonetheless.

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