March of 2020 was a very different sort of month than any of us had lived through before. Covid-19 was upon us. It started like any other March but ended with life turned upside down, businesses closed and people afraid to venture out of their homes. A very dark time of more questions than answers. Mother Nature didn’t seem to notice though. Robins returned and spring flowers popped out like they’ve done for thousands of years. In my own neighborhood there is a Star Magnolia tree that can never wait to bloom. It will burst forth in exuberant display long before it’s safe to do so. Often it pays dearly for taking such a risk. Freezing temperatures cut short the fragile blossoms.
When I photographed a few stems for a still life painting, the white drapery came out nearly black in the background in contrast to the bright sunlight streaming in the window. It seemed a fitting scene for those dark times. Hopefulness amidst dark shadows. The gamble of emerging too soon into deadly danger. The determined persistence underlying fragile life. For me this Star Magnolia painting will ever remain a remembrance of those challenging times.