Childhood Memory

the canoe

I finished this piece last month. I wanted to use a limited palette, but create a narrative with such a limited pallet.
It's the closest image to a childhood memory involving a canoe, an alligator and a bull. I have often tired to recapture this memory with an image, but just couldn't. This is the only thing that came close.
The year was 1979 my Dad and I were canoeing on a waterway during a trip to Florida. The tropical foliage covered the waterway, but we continued down, the water was black when I notice that we weren't alone. We were surrounded by alligators. I started to panic and "screamed get to the ground" ... my Dad quickly paddled toward some land that wasn't covered with Jungle. When suddenly a massive black bull appeared and started doing that thing with the front hoof that bulls do. He seemed to hum "I'm waiting for you, come on land so I can...."
The bull was massive and mean looking. I couldn't really see the alligators, only felt their swirling about in the water, very long and surrounding. My Dad turned us around and paddled the HECK out of there. He did tell me to stay calm, maybe I was shaking?
But we got back safe and sound and decided to stay were the tourists go only, like sea world and disney. I love that memory. My hero, my Dad.
© Heidi Younger

No comments: