"ARCH AGLOW" story


“Arch Aglow”, 11" x 14" (27.94 x 35.56 cm) oil painting was inspired by the childhood home place of a friend in Michigan. There is beauty in everything and sometimes we must look past the hard times. Winters in cold climates are always a challenge, no matter one's age. When I saw the photograph of this road, it brought to mind such times in my own life, as I tried to work or get somewhere by foot, walking down such a road as this. I remember the things that made it a good experience for me, a happy memory. Surely, there would be more such opportunities and I want always in every situation to find a reason to anticipate rather than be disheartened when it approaches.

The golden hues of the trees, as the afternoon sun shown on them, were so bright that I felt the need for sunglasses. Their colors made the trees rich in value and priceless, as indeed they are. All the animal tracks in the snow became a game as I tried to determine which animals may have been there prior to me. They, too, must have been in a hurry to get home to a warm place out of the cold and wind, as their family anxiously wondered why it was taking so long for that animal to bring home their dinner. I looked at all the different tire tracks and thought of the vehicles that had passed by taking people here and there for whatever reason.

One day, I saw a man riding a bicycle. When he stopped for a quick chat, he told me this was his normal route every day back and forth to work. He pulled a napkin from his pocket. It was wrapped around a piece of pound cake. As he gave it to me, I thanked him. Then he was quickly on his way.

I have learned that hardships are given to us as a blessing, both for the one experiencing the trial and others that cross their path. If I was not in whatever situation, there would be no opportunity for someone to share kindness. When I was young, I thought God was trying to teach me something and it was all about me. I thought I should be strong and decline offers for help. But, I have discovered that life is never about me. It is about everyone and how we all interact. Declining offers of kindness deprive the giver of a blessing. In the same manner, I should always look for opportunities to be a giver, especially when I have little to give. It is not the gift, but the love with which it is given.