Monday, August 3, 2015

I Wish I Could Paint

I wish I could paint. If I could, I would paint a scene I saw a few weeks ago when I was out for a morning run. 

It was early in the morning, but the sun had come up over the horizon before I left the house, so there wasn't a brilliantly colored sunrise like I've seen before. The sky this day was mostly just blue. Azure really, with maybe some cornflower. I've always been fond of cornflower. There was a little bit of pink near the ground, but not much. The sun has risen too high to have much pink left. And, there were clouds. Not many clouds, but just enough of those big, fluffy, cumulus clouds to hide the sun. And, because the sun was hiding behind them, the clouds were dark, but the edges of the clouds were lit - like they were highlighted all the way around. There were rays of sunshine fanning out of the top of the biggest, fluffiest cloud as far out as I could see. I love it when I can see the sun rays. 

So, I was heading back home, and passed the neighbors' house. Those neighbors a few houses down, in the brick house that's up on the low hill. It's a single-story house that is kind of an orange-y red colored brick. I'm guessing it was built in the 70s, because, well, it just looks 70s-ish. It's a wide house with two gables - one on each end - with a porch in the middle. The porch is trimmed in that decorative wrought iron that was once popular. The iron is painted white. In the driveway, they have an older model black Ford pickup truck with a camper shell on the back.

At their fence line, they have the Confederate flag on a pole. The flag was a new one that day, with the reds and blues and stars and bars contrasting against that morning sky. Oh, but they go through plenty of those flags. It seems like they get a new one every year. They usually wait to replace one until the sun has faded it almost beyond recognition, and the wind has waved it and waved it and torn it completely to shreds. They'll lower the old one down the pole, and replace it with a bright shiny new one. Once, the new one had a picture of Hank Williams, Jr. on it. I don't know if they have a ceremony when they remove the old one and replace it with the new one, but I think I hope they do.

These are the same neighbors who have those little, white, scruffy looking terriers that run out to the road when I run by. They aren't fluffy white, but sort of dingy, grey-white. And they're older dogs, so if a white dog can be old-age-grey, that's what they are, old-age-grey. Those dogs ran out just to the edge of the yard, just like they do every single time I go by there. They scampered back and forth along the road, and barked at me with little scratchy, hoarse yips and arfs. I think maybe they're smokers. 

Anyway, as I got to the beginning edge of their yard, I saw the neighbor walking across the glistening, dew-covered grass. She's an older woman, mid to late sixties, I'm guessing. She moved slowly, but with purpose, and a surprisingly straight back. Below her straw farmer hat, I could see her white, shoulder-length hair and a red bandana she had tied around her neck. She had on a white, sleeveless shirt. I think it was a t-shirt, but maybe it was a button-up shirt. I couldn't really tell for sure, but I could tell that it showed off  her dark, sun-kissed brown arms. She's Native American, I think, and she works outside a lot. Her shorts were khaki and knee length, and she was wearing black rubber boots. I guess her legs are nearly as brown as her arms, but they probably don't get as much sun. In her right hand, she carried a garden hoe. She was heading to the watermelon patch next door. Her morning chore was to get that patch weeded before it got too hot. 

I was just to the west of her just as she left her yard. As she turned to go through the gate, the morning sun hit just right so that all I could see was a silhouette of her. There she was, the watermelon farmer-woman - with her sun hat and garden hoe - a darkened shape, a shadow really, stark against the cornflower sky. My memory took a picture of it, and I can still see it today. 

That's the scene I would paint if I could, so I could share it with you. ...I sure wish I could paint. 

Much love and lots of sunshine,

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