AT CERTAIN TIMES, meaning every day of our lives, we are in need of a touch of nature. To re-ground ourselves, to be reminded of a world of beauty and meaning, in which personal woes and human cares of the moment are superseded by systems and orders and processes that long predate and will long outlive us. The songs of birds, the blooming of wildflowers, the flowing of waters, the silence of rocks, all are a part of it.
I have long loved the Hudson River, nature-based, school of painting, which makes me old fashioned and unsophisticated. But sophistication is of little use or consequence when confronted by beauty. This grand painting, “Rainbow Falls, Watkins Glen,” by James Hope, is a personal favorite of mine. The original hangs on one of the walls of a little-known, out of the way treasure of Minnesota, the Maritme Art Museum in Winona. I have this print hanging on my office wall here at the cabin. Last year the museum had a little contest, in which patrons voted on-line for their favorite painting in the entire museum, which holds a great many. “Rainbow Falls” received 70% of the votes. I was not surprised, I would have voted for it. Said the museum’s Assistant Curator, Dave Casey, “That painting casts a spell on people and draws them in, in a way that other paintings do not.”
I agree. Maybe it will draw you in, even in a little Facebook post. Maybe you are in need of a quiet, graceful moment. Maybe someday you will go to the Maritime Museum yourself to gaze at the large, framed painting in person. For a minute. For an hour. Or better yet, maybe you’ll just go outside and find a little beauty for yourself. There are some days it can be helpful, you know. Like, every day.