This month, we were blessed with the opportunity to celebrate fifty years of marriage with our friends, Nancy and Richard. We wanted to bring them something special because they are treasured friends. We knew of their respect and valuing of our First Nations people, so we went to Hiawatha, to the Mississaugas of Rice Lake, to look for a gift at their Old Railway Stop Store. We had a wonderful time soaking in the beauty of the work of local First Nations artists. Among a collection of prints by Barbara Edwards, I found the perfect painting, titled “Love in Twilight.”
I wanted to add the story behind the painting as part of the gift. It took a few weeks, but eventually, we connected with Barbara at the Hiawatha PowWow.
“Please tell me the story of your painting,” I asked.
Barbara responded, “I was asked to paint a picture as a wedding gift for a young couple. To me, it was an honour and a privilege. I painted them in each other’s arms, dressed in white buckskin, their eyes filled with love. When I finished the painting, my thoughts went to the young couple’s future. What would their lives be like in fifty years? I wanted to paint them looking back at all they had achieved over those fifty years, so I painted, “Love in Twilight”.
For Tom and me, Barbara’s beautiful print, “Love in Twilight,” speaks of being together, sitting side by side, legs and arms touching, soaking in the beauty and the stillness of a moonlit night. The couple have exchanged their white buckskin garments for the beauty and durability of the brown, undyed skin. In our minds, the two people in the painting represent our dear friends. Together they too have walked through many years and reached the peace, trust and safety that comes with mature, married love.
Our First Nation’s people are talented artists, a blessing to us all.