Today I attended a fundraiser for the Misericordia Eye Centre in Winnipeg. In the Silent Auction was a print by Robert Bateman of a raccoon half hidden in the grass. Normally I never bid for artwork at the these events but I was drawn to the lifelike portrait and natural setting of this wild animal. I was really happy to win this wonderful print. The artist’s name, Robert Bateman, was familiar so I had to research him.
His website brought me to tears. I am a visual person and his lifelike depictions of nature left me in awe. His portrayals of animals in wilderness settings somehow captured their beauty, strength and vulnerability. His essay about “How to Have a Happy Life” captured my own ideas that I have only recently come to believe. Especially helpful are his ideas about not worrying, and how to overcome that. As someone who despairs at the destruction of the natural world, from the ignorance and apathy of our government,leaders and many individuals, it was calming to read about how Robert Bateman deals with this issue. Robert’s love for nature, and his winning attitudes have created a place where we can truly be motivated and sustained. “Inspiring a Passion for Nature” is the statement on the Bateman Foundation website page, and that truly is Robert's legacy. Thank you Robert for your lovely print that now is on my bedroom wall. Thank you especially, for your contribution to the preservation of the natural world.
Manitoba is where I was born and where I have spent most of the five and one half decades of my life. I lived on the outskirts of the town of Portage La Prairie at a time when tadpoles and frogs inhabited the ditches and ponds, when there were many Monarch butterflies each summer along with dragon flies and grasshoppers. Redwing blackbirds perched the cattails of the ditches. As children we picked dandelions for bouquets and made wishes before blowing dandelion seed heads. We searched clover for lucky four leaves and rolled on the grass…there was no concern of poisonous herbicides. The grass was thick. Wherever we dug…there were earthworms