*Age 6 – April 1958 – mountain drawings


We had lived in Alaska nine months when I drew these pictures that I just found in one of the letters my mother wrote to my grandmother in April 1958.  I had turned 6 the 31st of August 1957.

It delights me to discover these pictures almost 52 years to the date later.  It’s obvious to me that I was already in love with Alaska.  Our family had not yet staked claim to the homestead.  April 1958 is the month my father hiked back into the valley and discovered the piece of land that he then laid claim to.

When we love, we love with detail, and in the specifics of my drawings I can see that love I had and still have for the natural world.

I wonder if that creature I drew with a snail-like head was a moose! Drawn April 1958 (age 6) of the Alaska I loved. Looking closely, I see that I even added grass along the ground line in front of the house, along with the 'ravine' lines on the peaks, and the detail of the jags on the one peak. I was also aware that the bearing-fruit tree had a root structure with an indication that the tree had leaves, branches, fruit AND roots. No eyes on the creature, though!
This is drawn on the other side of the page April 1958 (age 6) with my version of birds at top left, mountains reaching far back with attention to the edge of a ravine, a tree-lined river and a tree with branches. I took a lot of time to carefully draw in all that water!


I believe this land saved me along with this love that I had for this land.  I was absolutely attached to the place of Alaska – everything about the natural world made perfect sense to me.  It fit within me and I fit within it.  We were perfectly made for one another.

What would have happened to me if we had not moved to Alaska and the same abuse had occurred to me without this place and my love of it to sustain and nurture me?  Was I able to utilize some very ancient ancestral DNA memory of being fundamentally connected to the natural world that is, in our culture, being nearly forgotten?  A mother’s love for her child returned here in these 2 simple images.

NOTE:  Interesting, not a flower in sight!  Drawings seem very structural to me, solid, well framed, but no ‘frivolous’ flowers!


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