The Hill

12 x 24 Acrylic on Canvas

May 2017

Like many people, my husband and I like to get some exercise in High Park.  We do a lot of mountain trekking and scrambling, and there’s only one good way to train for that:  put on the backpack and traipse up and down some hills.  We particularly like the Rock Garden path because it provides an up-and-down loop.  We trained there for climbing Kilimanjaro a few years ago, and we eventually calculated that we had climbed eight Kilimanjaros during our months on the Rock Garden loop.

The training continues.  When the weather warms up it’s nice to get out there early.  On one particular spring morning, we were heading down the path on the east side of the garden, intending as usual to cross the next foot bridge and continue back up on the other side, past the big magnolia tree – but we saw that our path was obstructed over there.  While we were trudging along, four ballerinas had materialized under the magnolia tree!  Clearly it was an early-morning photo shoot; a photographer readied his camera while the ladies used the iron fence as a barre to perform extension moves.  The flowering season was nearly over for the magnolia, and the blossoms fell all around these four dark-haired princesses in peach tutus.

We never knew what dance company they represented, and this soft spring vision remains a mysterious and magical memory.”

Story by Kathryn Naylor

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