Embracing the promise of spring: my journey from Sarasota to Gore, Quebec

Departing from the state of Florida by road: highway sign reads, "Thank you for visiting Florida".

As April approaches its gentle crescendo, my heart swells with anticipation. It's that time of year when the promise of spring hangs in the air like a delicate veil, hinting at the transformation soon to come. For me, an abstract artist whose soul finds solace in the embrace of nature's palette, this transition holds profound significance.

But first, we have work to do: it's time for my husband and I to migrate back up north, and we must prepare for our road trip ahead. We have done it many times, already, and so have become fairly efficient. Still, I become nostalgic, simply thinking of our departure from beloved Florida home and my garden.

Road trip: Florida back to Canada!

As we prepare for our journey from the balmy shores of Sarasota, Florida, to the tranquil haven of Gore, Quebec, I feel a surge of excitement coursing through me. Our annual migration northward is not merely a physical relocation; it's a pilgrimage back to the roots of our existence, where the rhythm of the seasons shapes our lives in profound ways.

In Sarasota, where palm trees sway lazily in the warm breeze and the scent of salt hangs heavy in the air, it's easy to forget the raw, elemental beauty of the north. But as we make our final preparations for departure, I am reminded of what awaits us in Gore.

Savannah, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia.

And so we prepare... The journey itself becomes a canvas upon which nature paints her masterpiece. We watch in awe as the landscape shifts subtly before our eyes, shedding vibrant hues and tender blossoms in favor of a northerly winter cloak, which still lingers, despite spring being well under way, in the southern hemisphere. Each day brings us closer to our destination, yet the anticipation only grows as we draw nearer to the threshold of spring.

Road trip: Georgia!
Abstract artist Claire Desjardins and her husband, David, play with their shadows.

Along the way, we see trucks and cars, and buses. We pass miles upon miles of fields, forests, large cities, and small towns. With each, comes a distinct culture and highlights to view: the old city of Savannah, and all it's mystery, an old liquor stores, tall pines and cotton fields of the Carolinas, and as we work our way north, we are charmed by Philadephia's labyrinthe of little streets with old brick houses that have tiny little doors. 

Old liquor store in Charleston, South Carolina.
Dogwood blooms in North Carolina.
Road trip: South Carolina!

Traffic around Washington can be a force to reckoned with, but those cherry blossoms make it easy to forgive the slowdown. Once we pass into the threshold of New Jersey and New York, the landscape starts to look familiar again: fields of apple trees grow along the highway... and then at long last, Canada! Often, it is still covered in a blanket of snow, at this time of year, but that will soon disappear, making way to long-awaited buds and blooms!

I love New York sign and a visitor center.
Upstate New York in early spring.

It is upon our arrival in Gore that the true magic of spring reveals itself. Here, where the winters are long and the earth lies dormant beneath a blanket of pure white snow, and the arrival of spring is nothing short of miraculous. It starts with a whisper – a hint of warmth in the air, a chorus of birdsong at dawn – and builds to a crescendo of color and life. The wilderness comes alive.

Home of abstract artist, Claire Desjardins.

As I step into my painting studio, bathed in the soft, golden light of early spring, I feel a sense of renewal wash over me. The space, so spacious and light-filled, beckons me to unleash my creativity upon the canvas, to translate the beauty of the changing seasons into vibrant strokes of color and form.

Spring bulbs growing through snow.
Purple and yellow spring crocus in the garden of artist Claire Desjardins.

In every brushstroke, I see echoes of our journey – from the sun-drenched shores of Sarasota to the snow-covered landscapes of Quebec. Each painting becomes a tribute to the cycle of life, a celebration of nature's boundless creativity.

The painting studio of abstract artist, painter Claire Desjardins.

And so, as April gives way to May and the promise of spring blooms into full fruition, I find myself grateful for the journey that brought me here. In the embrace of Gore's wild beauty, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the changing seasons, I am reminded once again of the power of art to transcend boundaries and connect us to the world around us.

As I look ahead to the weeks to come, I do so with a heart full of hope and a canvas primed for new beginnings. For in the ever-changing tapestry of life, there is always room for growth, for renewal, for the eternal promise of spring.

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