The bluest skies of all were the ones from my boyhood in the country, but that time is gone, and right now, just a score of hours ago, the high hills above the Conversancy’s fields were showing the trees’ first colors of gold green and a rust red on the maples. Sitting in those sun drenched fields, I was happy to face the return of a cold wind strong enough to already shake the new grass gleaming in the narrow valley below me. I have been attracted to strong colors since my first memories — all the primaries of yellow, red and blue and the secondaries of green, violet, and orange. Their vitality in nature has always suggested that out here some nucleus of deep and abiding life may be mined and its energies taken in by us.
Hemingway’s first flat in Paris at 74 Rue Cardinal Lemoine came with a saw mill in the court yard out back that hammered away during the day, but at all times filled the air with the scent of fresh cut wood. I thought of him, young and wounded and green himself, in love, and trying to learn to write, when I picked up a piece of white oak from the trail and held it up to my face, breathing in and in again in rushes. Colors and scents all provoke images. When I can briefly empty my head as I am walking, they have the room to flash and provoke inside me.
I find it a comfort to believe that after my death the colors pictured in these photos, and the beauty they add to blossoms and the sky and trees and dogs will remain. I feel a measure of quiet ecstasy in knowing this. We become dust, but this grandeur will prevail. It is a good deal.