"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Landmarks on the horizon and in our lives

Dawn at Hermit's Peak, 5 by 7 watercolor card
There are landmarks on the horizon and in our lives--in our travels, in our languages, in our souls.
The word first described physical features that stood out to travelers before maps, but it's now a metaphor for so much more.
This really sunk in when I read Robert MacFarlane's book, "Landmarks," which explores the many words peculiar to specific geographic  locations.
But there are other landmarks in our lives, both positive and negative, but since I'm painting happy things this month, consider...falling in love, marriage, the births of children and grandchildren, certain trips, certain people...the list goes on.
And, out West where geographic landmarks stand out more, they also take on more than one level of importance, because they bring back memories and happiness.
Such is the hulk of rock at the eastern edge of the Great Plains, near Las Vegas, New Mexico...Hermit's Peak.
It juts out from the Sangre de Cristo mountain front, beckoning travelers since the days of the Santa Fe Trail.
Now it has become a landmark for the nearby church camp, Blue Haven, where we took our children years ago, and where some of my grandchildren have gone. I know memories will always flood their minds when they see that mountain, as they approach from West Texas. Even for me, when its silhouette rises over the horizon, I know I'm almost home to the mountains inside me.
It has become also a landmark for happy memories. So here is a birthday card for one of those kids.
(Daily #worldwatercolorgroup January paint happy things challenge)

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