Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The best kind of morning
The last day of my journey began with one a meeting that colored the entire experience.
I'd set out early, on a road I'd scouted the evening before. I found an empty parking lot in front of a small business, across the road from a beautiful, cow-studded field, complete with pond, fence and trees.
I started painting, and then lost myself in the painting, and the morning, the warm breeze, the birdsong. Then I heard a van pull into the lot. I looked up and saw a woman, younger than me, smiling and staring at my work.
She jumped out of the van and began exclaiming, examining my painting, then looking at the field, then at the painting, then the field, talking the whole time, asking questions, smiling and appreciative, clearly taking absolute joy in what she saw, and in the fact that I was painting this scene so close to her house, so close to her heart.
Her daughter is an artist, she said, and would I be here for a while? She'd like to go get her daughter so that she could see my painting. And would I want coffee? I said "sure" to both - and off she went.
Not so much later, she returned with her daughter and her son, a giant cup of wonderful coffee and the best breakfast sandwich I've ever had. We talked, all of us, and her children asked great questions and made cogent observations. Cynthia pushed them to look critically, to consider what they were seeing, and to investigate.
And then, amid many smiles and much laughter, with hugs and waves and farewells, they drove off, back into their lives. I packed up the van, ate my delicious breakfast, and drove off to find what would become the final painting of my trip.
That interlude, those moments of joy and sharing - that is what will stay with me, long after everything else fades away. Really, that is what this life is all about.