Travels with Art

I thought this week we would go for a ramble through the countryside using some pieces from my collection. Often, when I travel I like to take the road less traveled and by doing so I experience the ‘real/authentic life’ of an area. In an earlier time, taking the back roads, one came across scenes like the this. Here, children amuse themselves as the farmer and his wife deal with the harsh realities of farming in such a rugged land. The beauty of such landscapes is little compensation if one cannot feed ones family. But here, I think we see a successful attempt at family and farm. Earlier times saw children sent outside to care for each other and often only came in for meals or when called. A hearty imagination and creativity were a requirement to avoid boredom. Life was not easy. It was often a struggle – against the land, the weather and things beyond ones control but struggle on they did. Nowadays, we look on scenes like these and see an idyllic life but I think the reality was very different. Here on the back roads there is beauty to be found but often that is just the glossy cover to a deep and epic struggle to survive. A fight to provide more for your children. A better life. One in which they might have more time to revel in the beauty that surrounds them. Even today, we strive to provide our children with a better life – with more than we had when growing up. That is not a bad thing but just maybe we also need to stop, take a deep breath, and look around us to see the beauty in the place where we are. When I was younger, I was told that being around young children would keep me young. I am a grandfather and I can tell you that that is not true. I know I am getting older – my body reminds me often enough – but the thing that my granddaughter gives to me is not stamina or youth but she has reignited in me the joy, the wonder and awe in almost anything and everything which she sees so easily and I over time had become oblivious to. There is joy and beauty to be found even in the struggles of life.

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