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Standing in our barnyard, near the big 3-level barn, I gazed across the pasture, which sloped downward toward a natural spring which was a water hole for the cows. The water was a natural, artesian spring which was clear and cool in its white, chalky clay basin. It overflowed and drained into the distant woods of pine, dogwood and elm trees, from which clung wild wisteria and honey suckle vines. The cows were standing inside their stalls, or nearby, awaiting contentedly for the expected morning attention. It was a warm, early spring morning. I was sixteen years old.
At eighty, I still remember the morning which was not unusual as the days came and went, except for the fog (or mist) which showed surroundings in a ghostly way. That (the fog) was the component in the setting which made the morning, the environs, that moment itself, a singular encounter within my existence. The veil of mist in the rising sun cast a halo about every object nearby. While distant objects appeared to be fanciful beings, sylphs, first appearing, then withdrawing into the dimness of the foggy movement with a chilly breeze. The world was all within sight, for that moment. What was visible within the vapor around me was all there was in my world for awhile. More beauty would have been too much to receive. I knew that I would never try to paint it. It was not a scene to be painted on canvas. Instead, it was an experience to paint in my memory. I have included mist or fog in some of my paintings. However, that particular morning was a picture of a personal memory; one which I had no desire to share with anyone. Even now, sixty-four years later, I can close my eyes and ease into that blissful morning. It was God’s painting, and it was one that has never faded. It still brings back memories of people and times which have long passed.