It's the first of March, which would have been my parents 66th wedding anniversary. It's a blustery day waiting for the snow to arrive tonight, and I have been in hiding far too long. Even though I was going to save this post for the first day of Spring, it just seems like a perfect day to recall this 54 year old memory.
Irises always bring to mind my second grade class with Mrs Collingsworth. As a budding 7 year old artist I immediately connected to this tall be-speckled lady and how everyday we had some activity that stretched our imaginations and artistic endeavors. Today it is finger-painting. Not the sloppy hand slapping gooey mess, but art in its finest form.
Mrs C brought to my table one iris bloom and visited with us at length about what colors we saw, how the petals curled and changed shades from purple to yellow. Even the leaves and stalks had different greens. She wet the taped down paper and squirted a grey blob of goo in the middle. I looked up at her and thought ew, how dull. She just grinned and took my hand at dotted my pinkie with a dot of yellow paint. I watched the other students swishing their blobs into streaks across the paper, and I did the same. As I angled the swishes from the top left corner to bottom right, the white paper became an early morning sunrise.
Now how was I going to make those stalks? One finger? Nope. I remember her taking my hand and gently turning it to expose the pinkie side of my palm and plopped three different green dots there and told me to swish it onto the paper. Evidently this second stare revealed my confusion and she guided my hand for the first one. Low and behold as we moved my hand upward a beautiful stalk of green appeared. I didn't need any more coaxing. I was off!
But then came time for the blooms. No problem. She told me to make a fist and with the same maneuver she placed a dark purple and yellow dot on the side of my tiny fist. Taking my fist straight down on the paper and with a slight twist and lift, a perfect petal formed. Okay! Do that two more times and I had a perfect iris! It was no trouble to finish the other 2 flowers.
I had created a masterpiece! My first. Probably my only -- but it definitely is the first thought I have when I see these beautiful messengers of color every spring. It may not be Spring yet, but it sure brightened my day thinking about that little artist again.