aka “the Corona Days”
Sunrise, sunset…..slowly go the days. The slower pace we often craved is here and now we find ourselves chaffing in the traces.
As we grapple with the restraints of sheltering in place, the positive facets will continue to glow through the doldrums. There is time to re-connect with friends, time to go through old photo albums, and time to more deeply cherish our loved ones. The search for toilet paper may be the comical icon for this pandemic, but the return to our foundations will become the touchstone of these times.
2020 began bright and shiny with great promise and high expectations for a banner year. The Dallas Safari Club Convention opened the year with its most successful show to date. With nearly 1,000 topnotch exhibitors and over 30,000 attendees from around the globe, the energy ran high on every aisle. Having exhibited at the DSC ‘show for 23 years, we dearly loved seeing all our far-flung friends again.
Sustaining that optimism and energy, we returned to the Houston Safari Club for the first time in 20 years. And then the world changed. One by one, my shows have been canceled or postponed until the Fall. Just like every other sector of our economy, the art community has been hit hard. Gaining more time in the studio to create has also meant more new pieces with nowhere to show them. A great big “thank you” goes out to those of you who follow me online at my facebook page Sherry Steele Wildlife Artist and www.sherrysteele.net . You are what keeps this artist’s creativity alive.
Exploding out of the line of trees on the far side of the open veldt, doom in his eyes, a Bull Cape Buffalo thundered toward us. Powerful muscles surging, even from that distance we could feel his evil intent. Grabbing my pencil to sketch the action, I realized WE were his target. Unsure of what had triggered his anger, we froze in hopes he would decide we were not a threat. Finally, within meters of our truck, he veered toward the rest of the herd and we could breath again.
“Shelter in Place”
Even my subject matter took a cue from the current circumstances. With my daydreaming of Africa suspended by reality, our resident family of Carolina Wrens took center stage. Choosing a gourd hanging in the shelter of our eaves as home, they busily gleaned our yard for insects to raise their brood. With constant movement and cheerful chirps of encouragement to one another, they kept us entertained as the five babes finally fledged and took flight. The painting on the gourd by a dear high school classmate added to the illusion of a supporting branch for the wren.
Sherry Steele Safari 2022
Bowing to the reality of the times, I have postponed my upcoming 2021 safari. Even greater than my own disappointment is the realization of how this will impact my treasured guides and the staff at our camps. With 90% of the safari industry shut down, so too, is their entire livelihood from our tips. Carrying it one step further is the impact on the wildlife of Africa. Without the income from the safari trade, the funding to maintain the preserves and protect the wildlife is lost.
While my safari in 2021 has been canceled, it is now re-scheduled for February 25- March 11, 2022. Our camps are already reserved and it was heartwarming to tell my guides we will be coming back then. Please contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in sharing this life-changing adventure with me.
Gleaning the good from the rubble, this has become a time when the beauty of Music, Art, and the strength of Faith can brighten our days and bring us together to face these challenges.