A Snowman

November 5, 2010

In my house the “s” word is snow, which tends to beg the question “Why do you live in New Hampshire?” And the answer to that question is “because.” We live where we live because that’s where we ended up. Don’t most people?

Just a couple of months ago, before the leaves started to turn, we strolled through the displays at Art in the Park. The front booths were dominated by still lifes and landscapes, which is fine, but not our cup of tea. But then we found, behind the gazebo, booths that sparked our interest—a  bit more chaos in the paint, a few more risks of color and brush, and even some goofiness. We looked for things that made us tilt our heads or laugh outright.

Among those behind-the-gazebo artists, one woman in particular stood out. Her playful work didn’t take itself too seriously. It was clear that she was driven by the fun of making. And so, it was from her that my husband bought me a valentine in September—a small painting of a snowman, his mouth like a crooked nail, holding out a sparse pink posy. It looks as though he’s apologizing for winter.

The painting sits on my desk, right under the lamp. Every time I turn on the light, there he is saying “I’m sorry the days get short and cold. Here… have some flowers.” And my mouth curves to match his.

A nice thing… the thawing power of a crooked smile on a winter heart.



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