“Oh, that’s for you, ” George said, “for your birthday or something.” His voice trailing off with the last few words. I was standing in the Round House Cafe, looking at George’s photo called Black Creek Valley, wondering where it should go. We were hanging Jon and George’s exhibit, Looking at our World, and although I had admired the photo before, I thought it was a part of the show, not a gift.
It’s a photo of the Black Creek Valley, but to me it’s the view from Old Bedlam Farm, with my Studio Barn framing it on the right. My heart fluttered and tears filled in my eyes. I was flooded with memories, feelings of a different time in my life. As I looked at it, I could smell the green grass, feel the warm sun, I was there.
It was like a movie projector running in reverse, only instead of images flickering past me, feelings flickered through me. Taking me all the way back to how it felt to sit on the grass next to Jon in the unfenced pasture, Rose keeping the sheep from running off. We hardly knew each other, were barely friends, both married to other people. We talked easily as we always have and I felt a new level of comfort, one that I imagined but had never experienced with another person. Now I know this was part of the deep connection Jon and I have for each other. That somehow we have always known each other in a way we didn’t even know ourselves. Now I understand this, but at the time it was just a feeling without words. A feeling that this was were I wanted to be and didn’t want to be leaving anytime soon.
George’s photo takes me back to another time, another me, the beginnings of who I am now.