One Digital Painting, One Story – the Shady Nook

by Suzanne Heron.

These two friends are sitting on a sofa carved from a fallen cedar tree in Beacon Hill Park. They are in the shady nook past the Bandshell.

Across the walkway from them is the Moss Lady – and I couldn’t find the story of the bench, but I can tell you that the Moss Lady is the brainchild of gardener Dale Doebert. Inspired by the Mud Maid in Cornwall, England’s Lost Gardens of Heligan. The Moss Lady is made mostly of cement, covered over with moss. She sleeps peacefully in the earth, perhaps listening to the brook nearby. Adrian Chamberlain wrote about her in the Times Colonist, https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/rest-easy-the-giant-sleeping-moss-lady-is-almost-complete-1.2088671

If you follow that path a little further, you will come to the little pebble bridge built by Alicia Carr in 1945, after her sister Emily had passed away. Beacon Hill Park was Emily’s back yard as a child. Later in life she sketched and painted there, and the bridge is at one of her favourite spots. In 1942 when her health was failing, she asked her friend Carol Pearson to take several boxes of mementos – poetry books, letters, cufflinks, dog collars – and bury them in the park. They have never been found. Read more in the Friends of Beacon Hill Park newsletter: http://www.friendsofbeaconhillpark.ca/nl/nl_022002.pdf

As we all “stay kind, calm and safe,” and navigate as best we can in this time, much gratitude for sanctuaries like this, and for my “bubble” of people to share them with. As many of you know, I am a great believer in Place – in being connected to and grounded by the place we live and love. This quiet nook has a peaceful energy. Dale Doebert said,“For me, Beacon Hill Park is a place to come and forget about your worries. Tranquillity. And to relax. I felt the whole atmosphere of the babbling brook and the lady lying down just kind of personified Beacon Hill Park.”